“ My best advice to those just starting the fight is, do try to connect with others who have been there… Try talking it through with someone who truly understands, the more you open about this fight to others, I truly believe it will be easier to find peace within…
Jonny Imerman is the founder of Imerman Angels . It is a unique organization providing one-on-one cancer support: connecting cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. Imerman Angels partners a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer. Jonny is an extremely busy guy, but we caught him on the road to answer a few questions.
mK: What/ when was your diagnosis? How did you find out about your diagnosis? How old were you?
JI: I was diagnosed with testicular cancer when I was 26, living in Michigan at the time.. I had pain directly in the testicle (unusual!) that alerted me there was a problem, and I went right to the hospital!!!
mK: What were your symptoms?
JI: I had pain directly in the testicle!!! Worst pain I’ve ever had!!!!
mK: You seem to be a very healthy guy. How much do you bench? How big are your guns? Do you have them “registered”? hahaha
JI: Haaaa I bench with 2 50-lb. dumbells, I’m a first class wuss, and my guns are like paper thin cap guns!
mK: Sure, “we believe you” tough guy! Why did you start “Imerman Angels”?
JI: I started Imerman Angels because I remember how badly I wanted to meet someone who understood!!! I couldn’t find a young survivor just like me !! Then I realized many others have the same need!!! Hence, let’s make some connections!
mK: That is well needed. That connection is key! Who is your hero/heroes/ who do you look up to?
JI: My mother was there for every minute of every chemo and is the DEFINITION of loyalty and compassion!!!!
mK: Yeah, they are always looking out for us. What motivates you?
JI: I am PUMPED up by helping people!!! Imerman Angels is a platform where I can give back and help others in the cancer fight!!! Making a difference is the #1 motivator for me!
mK: When was the first time you felt like yourself after your diagnosis?
JI: It took almost a year after diagnosis!!! Much longer than expected!!! PATIENCE is key
mK: What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
JI: I really don’t get angry, I laugh all the time and cry sometimes too…light-hearted good people/friends make you laugh!
mK: Laughing sure does make things easier. What was your toughest challenge during or after treatment? How did you overcome it?
JI: My toughest challenge was getting my flow and confidence back after treatment!!! It was hard – persistence is the only way!!! Cancer rattles you like nothing else!!!
mK: What is your guilty pleasure?
JI: My guilty pleasure is not sleeping!!! I could stay up almost all night and get up early. And I love it, but I know it’s not good for my body! Somehow, I’m always awake and ready to go!
mK: Random question time! If your house was burning down what three things would you take with you and why?
JI: My laptop and database for IA!!! Everything else is just material and can be replaced!!!!
mK: That is only two things. Wouldn’t you want your wallet or something? Hahaha! If your home was burning besides work stuff what three things would you really grab? Dude, your stuff is gonna burn!
JI: I would also want my Imerman Angels shirts, and my wallet too!!!
mK: Hahaha. OK, Cool. What do you like to do in your spare time?
JI: Recruit cancer fighters and survivors! Also weight-lift, hoops, sports
mK: What are you doing now?
JI: Doing my emails!!! Catching up!
mK: You are one busy man! Any advice for people that get daunting diagnoses?
JI: Connect with other survivors your age who’ve already been through it all!!!
mK: Establishing that connection is more important than you would think. Tell us something people probably didn’t know… anything.
JI: I whistle in the shower!
mK: What song? Hahaha!
JI: it’s usually “She talks to Angels” but it varies all the time!!! After a workout showers usually have the best songs!!!
mK: Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
JI: My best advice to those just starting the fight is, do try to connect with others who have been there… Try talking it through with someone who truly understands, the more you open about this fight to others, I truly believe it will be easier to find peace within…
Jonny Imerman, sportsman, insomniac, the next American Idol whistler, compassionate human being, and all around nice guy. Your energy is contagious! Thanks for spending time with us!