Mo Sister sits in Toronto Mo House
Mo Sister Jess Taylor Image by: Max Rosenstein
Mo Sister sits in Toronto Mo House
Family portrait at Toronto Mo House
2 May 2022

Jess’ Story: Raising the Next Generation of Mo Bros

Mo Sister
Jess Taylor
3 minutes read time

I joined Movember in 2015 to support my husband, Sam, and our good friend, Adam Sanzo (aka The Lopsided One). Sam had joined Movember the year before and it may have saved his life.

Through information Sam received as part of the campaign, he realized that he needed to start taking better care of himself. He’d been having discomfort in his testicle for years and decided he should have a doctor check it out. Doctors found a lump in Sam’s testicle, and he made the quick decision to have his testicle removed. As part of a follow-up, doctors found another lump in his thyroid, which was also quickly removed.

Sam and I both struggled in the beginning. He had a tough time opening up about his feelings – anger, sadness, loss, fear – and I had a tough time with accepting his silence. I was the kind of partner that wanted to talk about everything, ad nauseam. I have been in therapy most of my life, so talking through my emotions and feelings has been very normal. It was hard for me not to push Sam to talk about things he was not ready to talk about, or emotions he did not understand yet.

As time went on, we were exposed to people from around the world who shared their personal stories through Movember. I think this helped Sam realize that he could talk to other Movember people who had gone through similar experiences.

Sam and I have two sons. Joining Movember and facing cancer has opened our eyes to how important it is to be open, honest, and supportive of our children. For example, at the dinner table, we go around and tell one positive and one negative experience of our day. My hope is that this teaches the boys to acknowledge their feelings, both positive and negative, and allow the feelings to move through them in a more mindful way. Sam and I also talk openly about our struggles, both the big and the small.

" We want our boys to know it’s okay to ask for help, feel really big emotions, and face scary thoughts. "

We are hoping that sharing our sides of the story will inspire men to do two things.

  1. Trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, get to the doctor.
  2. Support is out there. You can find it in anonymous chat forums, community groups, and personal support. Whatever format you’re most comfortable in, there is a group of people out there who will offer support and empathy for whatever you are going through.

I also hope that, by the time my children are adults, the world will be a more accepting place for men to talk openly about their health. Until then, Sam and I will keep learning and teaching new ways to grow as individuals and as a family. And we’ll keep taking them to Movember events and introduce them to the men and women who stand up for the cause.