What would you do to support a cause in which you believe? Would you dig into your wallet? What about your wardrobe — would you wear pink for a solid month? These men would. Here's why.
Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE
President and CEO of Erlanger Health System
"I'm proud to represent Erlanger by participating in this year's Real Men Wear Pink campaign. As you know, breast cancer affects both women and men and has impacted the lives of many of our associates and community members over the years. Strides have been made in recent years for earlier diagnosis and treatments to increase survival rates, but there is still more to be done. Through supporting causes like this, we can ensure that research efforts continue so one day there can be a cure. At Erlanger, we are dedicated to making a difference."
Brian Songer, DMD
Cosmetic and general dentist of Brian Songer Dental
"I come in contact with many of my patients who have been directly affected by breast cancer. The American Cancer Society continually becomes the topic of conversation. I'm super-excited about being involved with the Real Men Wear Pink campaign because ACS is here to help make a difference, and hopefully I can further impact their cause. With fundraising and generous gifts, we are seeing a dramatic changes in the way we treat cancer."
Managing partner for Heritage Funeral Home – East Brainerd Chapel
"We live in a day and time where the opportunity is limitless as to what we can do when we fight for something we want together. I want to make my friends and family aware that every cent matters, and more importantly, be an advocate for your own health. I would love to see a world without cancer; I would love to know that my children and grandchildren would not have to every worry about facing this disease. But we are not there yet, so keep fighting. There is power in pink."
Market president for Synovus
"A close family friend was diagnosed with stage 2B invasive ductal carcinoma in 2006 at the age of 32, with children ages 3 and 5 months. After her initial diagnosis, she felt scared, anxious, afraid and all the other emotions you could imagine. Her mother suggested they contact their local American Cancer Society chapter. From the initial meeting through the course of her treatments, the ACS staff provided invaluable resources, support and encouragement, even helping match her with a free wig. She had eight rounds of chemotherapy, 32 treatments of radiation and a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. She is now almost 12 years cancer-free."
Alvaro Valle, MD, FACS
Surgical oncologist with University Surgical Associates
"Caring for people with cancer has been my life's work. Every patient has an impact on me, and I am personally invested in every outcome. Since the 1980s, my patients and I have benefited from the American Cancer Society's various programs of support — the advances in treatment, support through difficult times, and the improvement in early detection, which is directly attributed to ACS' ongoing work to end cancer.
"I am reaching out to the thousands that I have been involved with, and participated in their care, to ask them for support and contributions to the American Cancer Society, and to embrace this campaign so the funds will be there to decipher the mechanism of cancer and prevent it from happening. I hope the community realizes that this is an investment, and this is the true universal life insurance policy that can benefit all of us. Please help us."
Thomas H. Ozburn, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO of Parkridge Health System
"I joined the fight against cancer alongside my mother, Anne, when she was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma and passed away after an eight-year battle with the disease. I am participating in Real Men Wear Pink to honor her life and to stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been irrevocably changed by cancer."
Practice manager for Covenant Allergy and Asthma Care
"My wife Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. At the time, she was the sole breadwinner. We had three sons ages 4-7 years old. This experience brought both of us closer to God. And while I would never want to go through the cancer again, I am thankful for this deeper relationship with him. [Real Men Wear Pink] gives me a chance to show my support for my wife and for her friends that are breast cancer survivors. It is an honor."
Craig B. Miller
Affiliate Broker with Real Estate Partners Chattanooga LLC
"My mother, Millie Miller, is the main reason I committed to participate in this amazing campaign to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. When she was close to 80 years old, she underwent surgery to remove a lump in her breast and followed the surgery with many weeks of radiation. The radiation that she went through weakened her lungs, which ultimately caused her death. I wear pink for her and I know she is smiling down from heaven every day sending me inspiration. I feel blessed to have been asked to raise funds for this fight and because I am healthy, I feel that I should do everything I can to help the cause."
Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Inc. – Jay Hudson Homes Team
"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 14. She lost her battle two years later. I know from personal experience the emotional and physical struggles of having to fight cancer and watching your loved one pass away. I am looking forward to honoring my mother by helping raise awareness and funds to support the American Cancer Society's efforts in fighting breast cancer."
Manager of community outreach and advocacy for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
"Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through loyalty to a worthy purpose. I'm doing what I think I was put on this Earth to do, which is help other people better their lives, and I'm really grateful to participate in this campaign that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important. Although I have not personally utilized an American Cancer Society program or service, every morning there are hundreds of families who awaken that do not know how to care for their health. The result is that they live each day feeling less healthy. That's where these campaigns begin to make a difference."
Director of data and quality for Signal Centers
"My earliest memory of what breast cancer can do was my great-aunt Sue. I remember Granny being worried and constantly being by my aunt's side. Aunt Sue had an opportunity to undergo a complex procedure in Pittsburgh and needed help traveling up there. Granny was terrified of flying, and the only thing that ever got her on a plane was the trip she took with her sister to have the surgery.
"During that time, I learned that cancer doesn't care who you are or how many people love you. Cancer doesn't care how old you are or what kind of life you lead. Cancer is indiscriminate, and it requires courage from everyone involved. We all have an opportunity to be brave. For scientists, it might be trying a new idea, or, for funders, it's taking a risk on a new treatment that needs support. But for most of us, being courageous doesn't mean coming up with a Nobel Prize-winning cure. Sometimes, courage can be as simple as getting on the plane.
"Real Men Wear Pink gives me the opportunity to give back some of my time to recognize all of the people who continue to live life despite the odds."
CEO of CHI Memorial and senior vice president of CHI SE Division
"When I was 14, a freshman in high school, my 33-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and used the Reach for Recovery program services. She experienced reoccurrence and later developed other cancers which took her life 23 years later. She survived and thrived while fighting cancer for 23 years. My sister-in-law has battled breast cancer for the past four years."
Public relations coordinator for the city of Chattanooga's Youth & Family Development department
"Aside from my grandmother passing away from breast cancer and one of my middle school teachers passing away from lung cancer, cancer overall has continuously been a topic of discussion as many people that I come in contact with are affected by it. It pains me to hear their struggles and even more to see the pains of the loved ones who are also largely affected. I have had several co-workers, supervisors and teachers who have been affected by cancer. Luckily, many of them are beating their conditions. I would like to join that fight! This is another opportunity that God has blessed me with, a chance to utilize my talents and skills to serve the greater good of not only Chattanooga, but make an impact on the world, one person at a time."
Private-client relationship manager for Acumen Wealth Advisors
"For a long time I had a mindset of helplessness when it came to cancer. I thought it was simply a matter of odds, but have learned that is not the case. Through education and awareness, preventive measures can be taken to help minimize the number of people who may become affected by cancer. And for those already in a fight against the disease, I hope to aid in the battle by supporting an organization that provides comfort, care and the tools to combat and overcome this terrible affliction."
Andrew Glenn Jaeger
Sommelier for Ruth's Chris Steak House
"When I started this campaign, I didn't know anyone who had been diagnosed with breast cancer besides my mother's cousin, whom I know suffered tremendously. Now, I know many. This courageous group of women has helped me understand the path to a cure. Funding research is crucial. Advances in medical technology and treatment will help lead the way to a cure. Ultimately, though, it is our faith and courage that will reveal the cure. Only the human spirit can show compassion, inspire hope, and sacrifice for those in need. Our unwavering commitment and faith will move the mountains necessary to discovering a cure."