Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon along the newswires: An uptick in stories about athletes and other sports figures working through cancer. For the team at Cancer and Careers, these pieces punctuate the very important points that there are all different types of work, and people of working age who have cancer need to be supported no matter what they do. What also resonates strongly is that, while we in the US may regard sports figures as celebrities, they confront many of the same issues related to work and cancer as Americans who live less public lives. Below is a round-up of some of the stories that illustrate these commonalities:
· Middleweight boxer Daniel Jacobs spoke eloquently to the Huffington Post about how the mental strength gained on the job (i.e. – in the ring) helped him through treatments for the bone cancer osteosarcoma. To keep motivated, he also set the work-related goal of eventually fighting for middleweight title in his home NYC borough of Brooklyn. And guess what? He just met that goal!
· Former Las Vegas news reporter Stacy Escalante is an avid runner who was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma while training for her first marathon. She is a now an 8-year survivor but, like so many, still struggles with the lasting effects of treatment. Also like so many,
· Australian golfer Jared Lyle is returning to the game after a 2-year battle with cancer. His demanding course of treatment helped him to contextualize the role that his current job plays in his life, and acknowledge that being a survivor may mean making a career change. In fact, he recently told ESPN, “… if I never hit another golf ball, I could walk away from the game and be happy."
· A recent New York Times piece on ESPN anchor Stuart Scott emphasized the importance of a work routine in helping him maintain a positive mindset during a battle with cancer that’s been ongoing for 7 years. He also looks to his family for support and inspiration, including his sister who recently shared an Arthur Ashe quote which resonates with many working through cancer: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
And for more news stories at the intersection of work and cancer, check out our newsfeed!