The Courage to Speak Out

On Monday, while leafing through the Daily News Record, I came across an advertisement that caught my eye.  It was a public notice about the RMH Regional Cancer Center.  What drew my attention was not the ad itself, but rather the person pictured.  Shortly thereafter, I contacted the hospital and asked for a copy of the ad to post on this blog.  In response, they sent me a link to this video:

Now I have found that generally folks don’t like to talk about issues like prostate cancer in public, especially when it concerns their own battles.  For some reason far too often it becomes a taboo like politics or religion, something to be discussed privately with close friends or family…if mentioned at all.  People don’t want to admit their own weaknesses, even though their very survival may hinge on seeking medical help before the illness becomes too advanced.  Failure to do so is merely misplaced pride, the results of which can be deadly.  Therefore, I applaud Henry’s decision not only to reach out to medical professionals, but to openly do so.  Perhaps it will encourage others in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community to follow his example and get screened before it is too late.  I’m also glad to know that we have such a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of doctors and medical professionals available so close, at the RMH Cancer Center.

But what made this ad jump out to me and how does this ad relate to this blog’s theme of Virginia politics?  The answer is Henry.  Although I don’t know him as Henry, but by his last name, he was a guiding influence to me in my early years of political involvement.  He inspired and educated not only me, but countless others and I’m sure that many of them instantly recognized his picture as I did.  Hopefully hearing the story of someone familiar will tear away this perceived social stigma.  Thank you, Henry, and thank you RMH.

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