Kenneth Todd Nelson is looking online for ideas to make a breast cancer t-shirt for himself and his team ahead of the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk on Saturday.
- Man is among one percent of men who get breast cancer
- He's participating in The More Than Pink Walk
- He considers himself a 'thriver,' not a survivor
“Typically men don’t talk about breast cancer, so I want something masculine but that incorporates the color as well,” said Nelson.
Finding the right design is important to him, because he’s anything but typical.
He’s part of the one percent of men diagnosed with breast cancer and is now a "thriver," a term he likes to use instead of calling himself a survivor.
And he’ll be using his platform as the only male thriver spokesperson for Susan G Komen to educate others on the disease at the More Than Pink Walk.
“For me, now it’s really just trying to help people and share my story so people will just go get checked out. Because if you see something, if you feel something you should definitely get checked out,” he said.
He was only 33 when he was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, the same disease that took his grandmother’s life.
He happened to go see his doctor for allergy issues when he mentioned he'd been feeling a bump near his chest for a few months.
He then got a biopsy, and then . . . the diagnosis.
“When you hear that for the first time, it’s something, it’s . . . really hard to believe," said Nelson. "You’re in shock because it’s like, it doesn’t sound real.”
But fighting for his life was very real and that’s why he’s now fighting for others.
“I’ve dedicated my life to service, so anything I can do to bring about a change, anything I can do to help others, I’m very excited about,” he said.
Nelson and his team choose their design for their shirts, and now it’s time for a toast.
“So here’s to being cancer free,” he says, raising his glass.
He's not just surviving. He's thriving.