I wanted to do it for this man, my mom’s little brother. He died within six months of his diagnosis and it was a devastating loss for my family,” he says. “I teamed up with the folks at Bristol-Myers Squibb on a web series called Survivorship Today. It’s about what it’s like to live with cancer,” he told TheGrio during an exclusive interview.
“Fortunately we can have a conversation about what it’s like to live with cancer instead of what it’s like dying of cancer because the research has gotten us to the point that people are living longer lives. Just because they have survived cancer doesn’t mean that their journey has come to completion. They have been changed and we should be giving them the resources necessary to really have a fulfilling and exciting life.”
The actor is working with Survivorship Today: What It’s Like to Live with Cancer to share stories of people living with cancer. “They are trying to bring attention to their individual communities with regards to cancer awareness and provide resources, physical and emotional, that people can go to and find the physical tools that they need in order to make their lives as whole as possible.”
One such person is Justin Birckbichler, who was diagnosed with stage II testicular cancer at the age of 25. Though he went into remission in March 2017, he is still learning every day what it’s like to really live with cancer, including managing his mental health, physical changes and the challenges of adjusting to his “new” normal. Justin not only is a survivor, but is also a dedicated advocate and blogger, founding A Ballsy Sense of Tumor shortly after his diagnosis.
Through Justin’s experience, he has learned he’s not alone in his experience of the lasting physical, emotional and social effects from cancer and is proud to be working with Bristol-Myers Squibb on Survivorship Today to share his story of what it’s like to live with cancer today.