My son Colin and I have shared many outdoor adventures throughout the years. One of my long-time dreams was to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In late 2010 we set a date and confirmed plans to embark on this adventure in December 2011. Colin and I are avid hikers and I personally have successfully climbed Mount Whitney. But climbing Mount Kilimanjaro would be the culmination of my desire to fulfill one of my dreams. So for many months now, Colin and I have been training to complete a father/son climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. We have been hiking local mountains, local trails and training at local gyms building up the endurance and strength to carry out the climb set to begin on December 17, 2011.
I have always been physically active and hike regularly. I have always been in very good health. And, I have never had a reason to anticipate a medical diagnosis that would change my life. However, several weeks ago, my family and I were shocked to learn of my diagnosis of ‘prostate cancer’. As a result of routine tests and doctor visits, I was given the news that every person dreads …’you have cancer’. But as with all other challenges and obstacles that had been placed in my life, this diagnosis did not alter my desire or plans to fulfill my dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with my son, Colin. While many others might have postponed such a mentally challenging and physically arduous journey after receiving such a diagnosis, this father-son team, continues their mental and physical training to carry out this adventure as originally planned.
To bring yet more purpose to our journey, the Zilberberg family has taken this opportunity to use the trip to raise awareness for ‘prostate cancer’. In celebration of "Movember," the month formerly known as November, Colin and I have dedicated ourselves to growing a moustache and helping raise awareness and funds for men’s health. We have joined the ‘Movember’ movement and will be donating our upper lips to the cause for 30 days, all in the name of raising vital awareness for cancers affecting men. Thanks to the great advances in medical research and commitment to new technology to treat prostate cancer, the prognosis for treating patients with ‘prostate cancer’ and allowing them to continue living healthy active lives is very positive. However, research and advances cannot be made without adequate financial support.
I am sharing my personal story in an effort to raise awareness and financial support for cancer affecting men’s health.
No man is immune from an unlikely and unexpected diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, with the proper awareness, early diagnosis and proper support system and medical intervention, it does not have to be a life altering diagnosis.