Man Of The Week – Jonny Imerman

Our MOTW Jonny Imerman opens up about overcoming cancer and will speak at ManTalks Chicago November 7th, 2016 on ‘Mentorship’.
At 26 years old in 2001, Jonny Imerman was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  After doctors surgically removed one of his testicles, he did five months of chemotherapy and became cancer-free.  But almost a year later, four tumors popped up again near his spine.  After another surgery, an 11-inch incision, and three months of recovery, Jonny was back in remission.During his cancer fight, he realized what needed to change in the cancer world.  Despite loving support from family and friends, he was unable to find a cancer survivor like him.  Jonny wondered: “What if every cancer fighter could talk to a cancer survivor, who not only had beaten the same type of cancer, but who also was around the same age and gender as the fighter?”  The cancer survivor would be an angel ⎯ walking, living proof that the fighter could win too.  That amazing connection would provide inspiration, knowledge, and hope.  This is why he created Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization, which carefully matches a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Today, Imerman Angels now has more than 6,000 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers in its network, and has been featured by dozens of news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, CNN, TEDx, The Huffington Post, Men’s Health and National Public Radio (NPR) to name just a few!Jonny will be speaking at the very first ManTalks Chicago event centred around ‘Mentorship’ on November 7th, 2016. Click here for more details and to RSVP.
Age: 41 years old
What do you do? (Work)
I work for Imerman Angels, a FREE 1:1 peer mentoring program for families fighting cancer– we introduce them to a survivor (or family member) who’s shared the SAME EXPERIENCE and has had a positive outcome– to inspire, motive, and give knowledge, strength, and hope!

Why do you do it?
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer at 26– did chemo, surgeries for about 2 years of my 20s– so we got together with a group of survivors that has grown now to about 8,000 volunteer survivors/caregivers– to GIVE BACK, and mentor, 1 on 1, those in the same fight today!  GRATITUDE– is WHY we do what we do! We’re all blessed to be alive and well!!
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
See above

What are 3 defining moments in your life?
3 defining moments of my life are getting cancer, creating Imerman Angels with a group of survivors who all care, and moving to Chicago in 2005 to get a fresh start on life after cancer.  Clearly, cancer has a lot of POSITIVES in my life!!
What is your life purpose?
I believe Imerman Angels is my life purpose, to help CONNECT and BUILD BRIDGES in the cancer world– but also helping other great causes and sharing what we’ve learned with other social entrepreneurs– to make the world a better place in a lot of ways!!  GRATEFUL to have so many social entrepreneurs friends who do great things in a lot of difference arenas! 

How did you tap into it?
It’s easy to tap into great causes when you CARE.Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
Howard Tullman is one of my mentors, CEO of 1871 in Chicago.  Howard is an idea generating machine, helps so many causes, serves on the IA board, and takes SO much time to help SO many great causes– he’s a powerhouse of a human and has inspired me and helped IA in so many ways!!
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
My daily habits are wearing an IA tshirt everyday, eating oatmeal every morning, working out everyday, and surrounding myself with GOOD people and idea people everyday
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
I know my work/life balance is off when my VOICE goes away.. I talk all day long, and eventually my body tells me to slow down when i lose my voice lol!
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
Opening our cancer experiences make us vulnerable– it’s the FIRST step in letting others in to help them– and essential in education and saving lives!

If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
The best advice I feel i I can offer is LIVE YOUR PASSION– throw your life into it! Find a WAY to live your life filled with your individual passion– and hopefully it makes the world a better place as well! It’s the BEST life I feel!!
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)

I’m single at the moment, and so not much good advice for anyone here haha!
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
I support hundreds of causes and non-profit friends– just a few of these causes are PAWS, Anti-Cruelty Society, ONEGOAL, LaunchU, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Above & Beyond Center to fight addiction, and anyone with a great cause making the world a better place!
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
If my life had a theme song, it would be “I’ll Take you There” — that’s how we ALL feel on our team in our ability to help and INSPIRE those with cancer!
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

In 3 years I see myself staying busy and helping Imerman Angels grow to helping thousands to tens of thousands of people across the world!
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Confession– I haven’t read a book since 26 years old! I can’t read books. I know– crazy.  I just can’t get myself to sit and read– i’m always on the move, and people are my currency, so I own it and stick to what my senses tell me is the best life– without books haha.
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]

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