First diagnosed with breast cancer back in November 2000, Howie Plotnik placed his life completely in the hands of his doctors. He didn’t worry because as far as he was concerned, his medical team was going to do everything in their power to make him well.
During that time he received many emails from the American Cancer Society, all of them referring to women’s fight against breast cancer. Howie decided to speak out, and he wrote back reminding them that men can also be stricken with the disease. Since then the American Cancer Society has become a big part of his life, and Howie has been on the committee for Relay for Life for 7 years. This annual event brings together survivors and supporters who camp out overnight, celebrating cancer victories and remembering loved ones lost. The progression of night into day is symbolic, he explains, as darkness represents the battle and sunrise stands for hope and recovery. “When you see that sun come up in the morning, you know you’re going to make it.”
Howie was diagnosed for a second time last December and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. You’d never know it from his optimism and cheerfulness. “If you let it ruin your spirit, it’s a very difficult fight.” He has not a doubt in his mind that he’s “going to beat this thing” again.