National Men’s Health Week
National Men’s Health Week is June 10 to 16 leading up to Father’s Day. This is a time for men to reflect on how they are caring for their health. Oftentimes, men are not as conscientious as they should be about getting routine physicals, monitoring symptoms and following cancer screening guidelines. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems among men and boys and encourage healthy habits—not smoking, using sun protection, eating well and exercising.
But what may not be emphasized enough is the need for a perspective that leads to optimal mental health. Attitudes and emotions shape the quality of life experiences, and the right perspective can promote peace of mind. SCV resident Mike Barr is a perfect example of this. Mike has been diagnosed with cancer four times and was recently diagnosed with body myositis, a progressive muscle disorder. Despite these hardships, he lives each day with grace and generosity of spirit.
What has helped him is to surround himself with like-minded people and have a network of support. He encourages men to be a part of a group and accept help when they need it. The American Cancer Society has been that group for Mike. “The local ACS volunteers became my family when I couldn’t care for myself,” he says. “They took me in and provided me dignity. I developed lasting friendships.”
Mike believes that if you’re going to have an abundant life, you must be in service to others. So, he encourages men to adopt an attitude of service. “Every day I want to do the best I can to bring peace and comfort to those who are facing fears like cancer. That’s what keeps the spark alive in me.” He continues, “We have no way of knowing the future. But with dedication to serving others, we can live fully and not worry about how many days we have.” Mike’s conviction, courage and open heart help him to live an abundant life. We celebrate Men’s Health Week by honoring him and men like him who inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves.
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