“I feel like I have a purpose here and this is it,” said Nathan Proutey, cancer survivor.
Nathan Proutey helps kids achieve success through education here at the West End Center for Youth.
But about 15 years ago, it was Nathan who needed the help.
“My barber actually mentioned something to me one day. I used to have a high and tight military cut and she notices that there was a lump on the back of my head and she just mentioned to me that it was getting bigger. She’s probably the only person in the world that would have noticed that,” said Proutey.
At 20 years old, Nathan was diagnosed with cancer.
“Hodgkin’s disease lymphocyte predominant subtype,” said Proutey.
“It hit me that I was vulnerable and that if I am vulnerable, anyone is vulnerable because I’m at the prime of my life and I didn’t realize that it could happen. It was pretty moving,” said Proutey.
Unfortunately Nathan battled the cancer not once, but twice.
“It was kind of like ok, here we go again,” said Proutey.
“These are tough things to go through no matter what age you are at. No body thinks they are going to get cancer. Everyone just assumes that it’s going to be the other person and not me and when you’re finally faced with it, your attitude plays a huge role,” said Proutey.
Nathan says he’s not letting his diagnosis define him and has learned a lot from his experiences.
“It’s crucial to be an advocate for yourself,” said Proutey.
“I still have things that are unpredictable underneath my skin, when they do scans, but it’s just one of those situations where you just have to learn to appreciate what you have. Being thankful that you are here. Thankful that you have another day to spend with your family and friends and looking at all the things and opportunities that the cancer has opened up for you in your life,” said Proutey.
Opportunities like impacting the lives of children every day.
“I don’t know where I will be in the next 20 years, but I’ll always be somewhere helping someone,” said Proutey.
You can donate and help those like Nathan by clicking on the link: https://acssark.ejoinme.org/NathanProutey’