Teeing Up Support
May 31, 2019
Tom Myers has a difficult time talking about his father. The positive impact of his life on Tom and the sting of his father’s early passing have empowered a voice he might not have otherwise had – the wisdom and authority to call others to get screened for prostate cancer and other treatable diseases. “You have to go and get checked.” said Myers. “You absolutely must.”
It is Myers’ way of contributing to creating a healthy Huron. Today, he partners with the Huron Regional Medical Center Foundation to sponsor an annual golf tournament every summer in his father’s name, the proceeds of which are used to support community health initiatives and cancer programs. Raising funds and awareness for early detection is part of the Foundation’s commitment to community wellness. Check-ups play a vital role in catching the disease early on – in fact, it is something Myers knows firsthand.
His father, Bob Myers, passed away from prostate cancer in 1989 when he was just 56. “I used to think that he was old when he died,” Myers said. “But no, he was pretty young – he had a lot more life to live, and to give.”
Bob Myers experienced one of the classic symptoms of prostate cancer – a backache. It was something he ignored. By the time he went in to see a doctor, it was too late. After the death of his father, the reality of the statistics hit Myers hard. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung and colorectal cancer.
Myers was 29 at the time his father died. He decided to start annual screens that year and committed himself to spreading the word. “If there’s a family history it should be a pretty easy decision,” he said. “You should go in to see a doctor. If it’s in your family, it is often not a matter of IF you’re going to have it, but when.”
“When” did arrive for Myers, who was also diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 55, one year before the age his father died from the disease. Because he was diligent in screening, they caught it in time.
Through his family’s generational struggle with the disease, Huron Regional Medical Center has been a source of hope and support. From personalized care at the hospital to the important push to raise awareness in the community that early detection of any disease is the first step to healthy outcomes, Myers said HRMC has been consistently there in both the difficult moments and the victories.
And he’s passionate about the golfing fundraiser and grateful every year that the community recognizes the importance of raising awareness. “The event is the same Sunday every year. We don’t call anyone to invite them – they just show up” he said. “That is really indicative of the Huron community – we show up, we support, and we work to make our community stronger… to make it healthier.”
It is something he knows would have made his dad proud. He’s hoping that other community members, armed with the right information, can avoid the heart ache he has endured. “It doesn’t take much to do the screening,” he said. “Just do it, so you have that opportunity to continue.”
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