By Virginia - October 29, 2013
"It's very difficult for men to talk about their feelings and to seek help when they need it," says Albert Tomei, 73, a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. "When my daughter was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was in denial about the seriousness of her condition."
From the start his daughter had "tremendous support groups," Tomei says, but "it's very different for men--they feel they have to go it alone. That's why they often don't seek help."
After his daughter was first diagnosed Al Tomei attended SHARE's caregiver group "to vent." But he didn't feel inspired to return, at least not right away.
Then he attended a SHARE event that was a turning point.
"I hadn't been paying as much attention to my daughter as I should have," he says. "Then I went to a SHARE event for women with metastatic disease and their friends and families. A woman there told me, 'You need to spend more time with your daughter.'"
"It was amazing for me to meet the women in the group and see how they live with this disease," Al says. "It really turned things around for me.'
Al now attends SHARE caregiver support groups regularly.
With the group "I've got somebody to talk to besides my wife, who's stressed out in her own way," he says, "and my daughter and I are closer than ever."
Virginia is a volunteer with SHARE.