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Father’s Day – I love being a dad!

Jason Mendelsohn family photo. Jason, his daughter, wife, and 2 sons

Father’s Day is very special to me, as I truly love being a dad. There is nothing more important to me than my wife and kids, as my parents raised me to believe that family is everything. Family is sacred. That being said, as many of you know, I made videos to my three kids saying goodbye in 2014, after being diagnosed with stage IV HPV related tonsil cancer. At that time our boy/girl twins were 12 and our son was 6. I was heartbroken thinking that I would leave my kids without a father, and my wife without a husband. The thought of not being there for my family was unimaginable as I speak with my parents on a daily basis.

What is my responsibility as a father? In my opinion it is to take care of my family. I am to keep my wife and kids safe, to provide for them, while making sure they each know how much I love them. I want my wife and kids to know that I am truly proud of them. My role is to help prepare our kids for life. I want them to know that they can achieve all that they can dream, and that they are smart, kind, funny, handsome/beautiful and totally awesome. My role is to give them the confidence to conquer the world. As a father, I need to make certain that our kids understand the importance of family, and that doing what is right and always doing their best is expected and valued. Respect for others is a nonnegotiable. I expect them to make the world a better place, and that their life will be more fulfilled by helping others.

When going through treatment, and after beating cancer the thought of being there to watch my kids grow up, seeing them graduate from middle school, high school then college, one day get married…….all motivated me to press on, and I understood in my core that maintaining a positive attitude was key. Again, as a father, I owe it to my family to do whatever I needed to do to be a shining light for them, to be a beacon of hope.

Today, as I diligently work to help cancer patients, survivors and caregivers worldwide, I hope I serve as a good role model to my wife and kids. Hopefully, they see my advocacy work helping other men and women in need, as a sign of strength and kindness.

Father’s Day truly means the world to me, as my wife and kids bring tremendous joy to my soul. As a survivor of HPV related tonsil cancer I value life and all that it brings. My passion to protect men and women from HPV preventable cancers, ensures that many parents will be spared the pain of making videos to their kids saying goodbye. On this Father’s Day, just like all other days, I hope I make my wife and kids proud.