During Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October, people bring their focus and support to the strong women who bravely battle this disease.
However, during this month, most people don’t think about the men who also face breast cancer.
Daniel DiNardo, 49, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, according to WJW-TV.
After noticing a lump in the right side of his chest, the Youngstown, Ohio, engineer went in for a biopsy. The tests revealed that it was cancer — and it was already at Stage 3.
DiNardo underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. However, the cancer came back after a few months.
“It’s kind of like climbing a mountain and reaching the summit and going, ‘I made it, right?'” DiNardo said in an interview with WKYC-TV.
“Then all of the sudden they say, ‘Oh no, well you made it here, but there’s another mountain you need to climb.'”
“It metastasized into my femoral ball in my left hip; there’s a spot on my spine [and] a couple [of] spots in my lymph nodes in my chest,” he said to WJW.
After the first diagnosis, doctors told DiNardo that he had just 6 months left to live.
But over four years later, DiNardo is still fighting. He credits his family and God for helping him push through.
“If it wasn’t for them and if it wasn’t for God, I’d be nothing,” DiNardo said. “I get my strength from my family and I get my strength from my faith.”
DiNardo and his family have used his battle as a teaching moment to make them all stronger.
‘We want to teach our children, you can either wake up and cry and woe-is-me or you can get up and fight,’ his wife, Sarah, said.
Breast cancer in men accounts for less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 500 men out of the 2,670 men diagnosed in 2019 will die from breast cancer.
DiNardo had no history of cancer in his family, nor any risk factors. As he continues his fight with cancer, he now goes for regular check-ups every four months. He hopes his story will raise awareness about breast cancer in men so that others will get tested.
The brave dad told WKYC that tries his best to appreciate every day that he is given, even though the battle against cancer is difficult.
“Unfortunately, it’s part of our life but it’s not our life,” he said. “It opens my eyes to the bigger things in life, not the little things that used to derail us.”
“It’s very cliche to say,” he added, “but I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, I could have a heart attack tomorrow. So to sit there and say that this stage 4 cancer is going to shorten my life or take me out early or whatever, that just makes me appreciate every day.”
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