The journey made by many breast cancer patients live is well-known, but a journey this husband and wife took together is unique.
Steve Ellis’ wife, Mitzi, has had breast cancer twice in the same area of the same breast. In April, Steve was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on his left breast the next month.
Breast cancer in men is a rare disease. Less than 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2017, about 2,470 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
“The impact that (cancer) has had on us and our two adult daughters has been tremendous,” Ellis said.
Ellis will use his personal story to raise awareness about breast cancer, as one of Charlotte’s Real Men Wear Pink.
Because breast cancer affects everyone, women and men, the Charlotte Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team found men who are willing to fight breast cancer through Real Men Wear Pink.
This distinguished group of community members is determined to raise awareness and money to support the American Cancer Society's mission and save more lives than ever before from breast cancer.
Nearly 250,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The money raised by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is used to fund innovative research, provide free information and support programs to patients and caregivers and help reduce breast cancer risks or find it early, when it's most treatable.
As a member of Real Men Wear Pink, Ellis wants to increase the awareness among men that they too can get breast cancer.
“I did not realize this was even possible,” Ellis said. “Unfortunately, because of the lack of awareness of the possibility for men getting breast cancer, most times it is diagnosed in a later stage.”
Ellis will be one of the thousands of participants at this year’s Charlotte Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, being held on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway - zMax Dragway.
With their passion, the Real Men Wear Pink supporters can have a huge impact on the mission to end breast cancer.
Ellis said that cancer has made him and his wife grateful for every day. “When you have been through the cancer journey, you realize what is really important or not,” he said.
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