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Commentary: Caribbean men's health
Published on April 9, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Christopher Famous

Today I wish to speak specifically to the men of the Caribbean. Over last weekend two men that I knew, have moved on to the afterlife, due to the dreaded thing we have named cancer. Their passing did not come suddenly or without expectations.

Christopher Famous is a Caribbean real estate developer and business owner. Raised in various Caribbean islands such as; Bermuda, Jamaica, St Eustatius and St Kitts and Tortola. He has a weekly social and political column in The Bermuda Sun. Feedback to:
Both had been diagnosed with specific forms of cancer over the last few years. Yet when they were diagnosed, it was at a stage that the doctors merely gave them an appointed timeframe that they had left to live.

Yes, we all have to cross river Jordan someday, and somehow. Yet we have an opportunity to enjoy a bit more of life before we cross.

We have that opportunity because we have the ability to get regularly checked or screened for different forms of cancers. Yet many of us refuse to go to the doctor until, or unless we are near death.

We shun prostrate exams because we do not wish anyone “poking us in the backside.” We shun colonoscopies because it may be too painful. We do not wear sun block because islanders don’t need that. We shun every form of cancer screening because “that is not for men.”

I prefer a momentary discomfort than a permanent death sentence that was avoidable. So today I reach out to the men of the Caribbean to pick up the phone and book your appointment to have yourself fully screened for every and any form of cancer.

This includes breast cancer. Yes, men get breast cancer as well.

Let us cut back on the red meat and sugars. Exercise more and stress less. Most of all, have no shame in the game of escaping pain.

There is a reason Caribbean women outlive us. They do not fear getting checked.

Bermuda Voices

We have commenced a new project “Bermuda Voices.” Last week was our first week of doing shoots, and we commenced with two Bermudians that have a powerful message to share with us.

First, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting and having a candid conversation with Reverend Nicholas Tweed of St Paul’s AME. He is a man of immense knowledge, passion and determination.

His consistent message was about social justice and economic equality. You know -- the stuff some politicians always promise before an election, yet never deliver on these promises once elected to office.

During our conversation I learned much more about our society and the wider world. When you view the interview I have no doubt that your view will be broadened.

The second interview was with a young man any parent would be proud to claim as their son. Mr Eron Hill, an 18-year-old person, with the mind of someone twice his age.

Eron spoke about his dreams and determination of being a lawyer for many years. He elaborated that Bermuda’s young people clamour for parental involvement and interaction. At the end of the interview Eron gave a direct message to his peers, parents of his peers and the political parties of Bermuda.

“And a child shall lead them” was the overall feeling that was left with me from my interaction with Eron.

Where can you find these videos you say? Visit our Facebook Page “Bermuda Voices.”

Stay strong, my Caribbean brothers. Love you all.
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