'No Shave November' sheds lights on men's health concerns on the First Coast

Don Eves found out about his diagnosis, multiple myeloma, 16 years ago. It's a cancer that affects the bones and kidneys.

You've probably noticed a lot more bearded men this month, including FCN's own Anthony Austin.

It's "No Shave November."  It's the time when men grow out their facial hair to raise awareness about men's health, especially cancer.

"I was at the top of my game career-wise. Cancer wasn't in the plan," Don Eves told First Coast News.

Don Eves was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma more than 16 years ago.

"At that time, I didn't even know what Multiple Myeloma was," Eves said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. This particular cancer affects the bones and kidneys.

"Overnight, all the things that you perceive to be important, many of those become insignificant," Eves said.

With his wife by his side, Don fought the disease and is now in remission and has been for quite some time. 

 "It was hard for my family to deal with it. Incidentally, my wife became my caregiver and she basically along with the physicians saved my life."

Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville says Don's will to live played a major part in him being here today.

"Soon after getting his transplants and treatment, he went back to trying a live and active and healthy lifestyle, he again started exercising, eating healthy, and doing the things he wanted," Dr. Ailawadhi said. 

Research shows Multiple Myeloma is an incurable disease and affects more men than women. 

"The incredible thing is that over the past decade and a half roughly, the average survival for a patient with Myeloma has gone from 1 to 2 years to now more than 10 years ... and that has been purely because of new drugs and advancements that have come across over these past few years," Dr. Ailawadhi said. 
 
"At this time, I don't take any cancer drugs.  So, I have been very blessed," Don said. 

A blessing that Don doesn't take for granted.

 "Everyday is a gift, live it to its fullest."

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories