“Research shows having a sense of purpose actually relates to living a longer, happier life. When we feel we are sharing our unique gifts with others we feel useful, appreciated, validated, and meaningful.” ~ Mark Hyman, MD
When your passion, purpose and profession all sync up…it feels absolutely amazing.
My purpose is to help and educate. My passion is health and fitness. When you’re walking in your purpose, everything feels easy. There’s a certain energy and inner joy you have, and everyone sees it. When you’re passionate about something you put forth 100% effort. You want to learn as much as possible about that passion and will do whatever it takes to put in the work. It’s not often that you walk in your purpose, while turning your passion into your profession. The first time I was able to do that was when I worked in the fitness industry as a General Manager for 24 Hour Fitness and UFC Gym. I loved helping clients accomplish their health goals and celebrating their progress. It was easy for me as a former athlete who’s been extremely health conscience since losing loved ones prematurely to heart disease.
I am doing it once again, for ZERO and the prostate cancer community. Almost four years ago, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.With all of my previous health and wellness knowledge, I didn’t have a clue what that meant. My entire family is in North Carolina, so I immediately started doing my research online. That’s how I found ZERO. I started sending my dad links from the website, printed off pages to send him in the mail, and constantly conveyed the information I was learning to my family. He’s doing great now, but during his initial treatment I was able to attend the ZERO Summit on Capitol Hill. That’s when everything changed for me personally. That’s when I learned that Black men not only have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, but often develop a more aggressive form of the disease and are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. That lit a fire in me that could not be ignored, and I had to do something about it. From that moment, I made it my mission to be an advocate and champion for the prostate cancer community.
I get the word out to every man I come in contact with, but especially Black men. We have to deal will various issues that can have an impact on our life expectancy beyond just our health. So, it’s important to know the risks, know your family history, and take action to live your healthiest and longest life possible. Early detection is the key. Prostate Cancer is no longer an “old man’s disease”, and African American men should start getting tested at age 40. I encourage men to get an annual physical and request a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test along with the normal bloodwork. It really is just a simple blood test that could actually save your life. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. That number jumps to 1 in 6 for Black men. When you know better…you do better. I’m trying to make sure Black men have that knowledge, so that we can do what’s necessary to live a long and meaningful life.
Although, I am the Southern California Chapter Director for ZERO…I am still a champion and an advocate for the entire prostate cancer community. As I have ended many of my social media posts, I’ll leave you with this: GET INFORMED – GET TESTED – GET INVOLVED.