‘Movember’ hits home for first responder whose dad had cancer



Logan Vollmar is growing his moustache for “Movember,” the effort to draw attention to serious health issues affecting men, including prostate and testicular cancer.

But Vollmar really doesn’t need a reminder of the importance of this month.

A 27-year-old first responder for the Brighton Area Fire Department, Vollmar watched his father, John, battle prostate cancer.

“He was 58 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” said Vollmar. “He held strong while sharing his news with me and our family, but behind my tears I knew I had to hold my head up high and be strong and supportive for him.”

His dad was diagnosed in January 2020.

He wasn’t the first to have cancer in his family.

Vollmar’s family is prone to autoimmune diseases and other significant health issues.

“He was scared,” said his son. “Trying to make him feel as comfortable as possible was vital to me. Luckily, they caught it pretty early before it metastasized any further. It was pretty alarming, though.”

His father’s outlook was as positive as can be. A positive attitude can lead to a better outcome for many people, noted Vollmar.

Vollmar endured a laborious process of getting his father the help he needed because one month later, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, and delayed most other medical procedures.

The battle lasted for over a year.

When an individual has prostate cancer, there are two main options: surgery for removal of the prostate (a prostatectomy) and radiation. Sometimes both are necessary.

After weighing his options, he decided on a prostatectomy.

“It was a difficult decision,” said his son. “Ultimately, this was the best for him.”

But this procedure can be emotionally and physically challenging for many reasons.

As Vollmar puts it, it can injure one’s manhood.

Feelings of embarrassment or shame aren’t uncommon.

Support groups and therapy are considerations after a prostatectomy.

Vollmar’s father did well through the surgery. After a big scare, he is now back to normal.

Catching it in the early stages allowed him to avoid an even more serious outcome.

As for Vollmar, “I need to be on the ball with my health and getting checked out often in case this gene runs in me as well.”

After all, getting check-ups can be lifesaving.