Those are the words of Thomas Goodman, Jr., a prostate cancer survivor and advocate. “I’m healed, I’m thankful and I want to be a vessel to help those going through it or that have been through it.”
Reverend Arthur Brown (pictured right), is the Pastor at Thomas' church, Tabernacle Baptist Church in Harrisburg. On a recent Sunday, he asked the congregation for a raise of hands from those who have faced cancer themselves. And, about half of the people raised their hands. “We have so many affected by cancer. I am grateful for the emphasis that witf is placing on this critical issue and highlighting those who are going through it.”
That's why Thomas is reaching out to his church family with his personal story about surviving cancer. He hopes his words will bring comfort, inspire others facing the disease and also raise awareness about cancer.
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He stepped up to the pulpit and began his story. “December 9th 2010 until March 8th 2011- none of it made sense to me. I questioned God- 'Why am I suffering? Why are you punishing me?'
Thomas expressed his deep gratitude to his church family, for standing by him through his darkest days., saying “Each person I was in contact with gave me words of encouragement- to point where when I wasn’t encouraging myself they were there encouraging me.”
But, through it all, Thomas has been able to find some good in the situation. “God allowed me to go through this to build up my character. Before I was sick I was carefree, and He slowed me down. This allowed me to grow closer to Him,” he said.
A month before I was diagnosed a baby girl was born to me. My body was sick, and there were times I couldn’t even hold her. My only wish and only prayer to live to see daughter grow up.”
Pastor Brown said, “Thank god for Brother Thomas who has a place in his heart for educating men about prostate cancer and helping us men know that there is hope. He’s a living example.”
- Thomas Goodman Jr. helping to raise awareness at Harrisburg's Great Prostate Cancer Challenge
- Learn more about prostate cancer
- Share your own story at the Digital Quilt of cancer stories
How have your shared your own story with others? Are there ways that you can be an advocate within your own community? Please leave a comment!