I gave 100’s of presentations and speeches in my work career, but never did a talk where the dinner price was $1000 a person. Now I have.
To call it a speech was a big stretch. I was invited to give a 3-5 minute talk about my experience with cancer treatment at the U of M. This was for a $1000 a plate fundraiser for cancer research to support research studies and projects on various types of cancers.
I was teamed up with my surgeon at the U of M, who is not only one of the best surgeon’s in the country for what I needed done, but also a brilliant researcher and on the cutting edge of new treatment protocols.
This was a new step in my post-retirement involvement in my cancer volunteer work at the U of M and in the local community and it admittedly it felt good to be asked to do this.
To date, I have now talked to over 20 people just diagnosed with bladder cancer via the peer-to-peer mentoring program. Essentially if someone is diagnosed and they want to talk to a survivor who is been through it, they can call me. This has been something that I have been passionate about doing and surprisingly for an introvert, I think I am pretty good at it. I have also talked to at least 3 caregiver/spouses of newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients where the “guy” did not want to talk about it, but the caregiver figured that someone has to get some information and support.
This is also the 6th month of coordinating the bladder cancer support group. This group meets once a month in Minneapolis near the U of M campus and has been a rewarding and satisfying experience for me. We have had a pretty regular attendance of about 15 people at each meeting and several have benefited significantly just by hearing others journey’s. We also have a guest speaker each month and have brought in experts to talk about the following topics: bladder cancer research, the importance of nutrition, the importance of exercise, and how to tap into resources to help you through your experience.
So, just 8 months into retirement, I feel like my involvement in this area has gone very well and a volunteer effort where I can make a unique contribution.
Here is a picture from the dinner:
A Boomer In Transition