Hi, I’m Bruce Wayne, and yes, that’s my real name.

As people around the globe recognize World Cancer Day, I want to talk about what it’s like to find strength in the face of adversity. Everyone deals with something, and my particular villain is prostate cancer.

My cancer journey began at the end of 2017 when I started not feeling like my normal self. I quickly realized it wasn’t something an over-the-counter drug could take care of, so I went to see my regular doctor. From there, things progressed to seeing a urologist, getting tested, and learning about my diagnosis.

During my chemotherapy treatment, I had a lot of time to reflect on my life and purpose. While my diagnosis hasn’t taken away my zest for life, it has made me more driven than ever to give back to people – to find a way to support and bring joy into their day. This purpose keeps me moving forward.

Do Good and Make a Difference

When you’re facing difficulties in life, I think it’s easy to start brooding and feeling bad about yourself. But that’s not a healthy way to look at life. Instead, I wanted to focus on the good, to brighten someone’s day, just as others have done for me. Cosplaying was my way of making a difference.

Cosplaying as my favorite superhero is my way of giving back. I don the suit for visits to nearby hospitals because it helps patients focus on something light-hearted and fun. Whatever their pain or struggle, age or gender, the reaction is almost the same across the board: people are entertained by seeing me arrive in a suit.

Bruce Wayne and Social Support
Bruce (center) emphasizes the importance of family and social support when faced with adversity.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Even superheroes need other people, and I’m particularly grateful for the friends I’ve made at my local nutrition club.

I’ve known Shayna for more than a decade. Since her breast cancer diagnosis, our friendship has grown stronger, and there has been nothing but positivity and hope between us.

While we do talk about what we’re going through together, such as the effects of chemotherapy, a lot of what we focus on is the amazing support we’ve received – from doctors, nurses, friends, and family – and that is so important. She’s been a beacon of light for me.

I know that Bruce Wayne has been patched up by Alfred in the comics, but I have an entire community to lean on. While the past year has been one of the most challenging for me, I also learned the value in early detection, felt the support from family and friends, and most importantly: discovered how to live a life of purpose by giving back.