We Could All Learn From Steve Jobs’ Example [Opinion from a Cancer Survivor]

Steve Jobs

For people like me, and the other 28 million living with cancer, people like Steve Jobs are incredible role models. When I was undergoing chemotherapy three years ago, I was often tempted to think “why me?” But then I asked myself, “Why Steve Jobs? Why Lance Armstrong?” And I reflected on the remarkable things that they went on to achieve after their treatment. Their inspirational example helped me more than I can say.

Steve Jobs chooses not to talk about his cancer. He prefers to focus on his work. We should respect his choice.

When someone is not well, the last thing they need is a lot of people making a fuss about it. And if someone chooses to keep their health matters to themselves, their wishes should be respected. No one has a right to know about anyone else’s medical condition.

Discussing someone’s health status in public, and speculating about their prognosis is disrespectful, and unnecessarily negative.

When I got sick and underwent chemo, I was fortunate in that I was able to continue my day job, managing a small business. What made this possible for me was the strength, positive thinking and encouragement of my family, friends and colleagues around me, who were open-minded enough to focus on what I could do, rather than on what I could not.

None of us are immune from occasional sickness. One in six people globally will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their life. (One in three in the US.) All of us need to be given the space to get well, in our own way, and with the help of qualified medical professionals.

If you know someone who is living with cancer, the best way to help them is to focus on the positives, give them the space to tell you as much or as little as they choose, and be open minded about what they are able to achieve.

2011 promises to be another amazing year for Apple. Let’s focus on that and and leave the oncology to the professionals.

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  • lyn

    My father the most important man in my life was diagnosed with the same type of pancreatic cancer that Steve Jobs was diagnosed with. My father was given a death sentence and outright told that he had only one option and that was too die. So when a public figure who makes a disgusting amount of money is miraculously still alive in 2011 when he was diagnosed in 2004 you bet your ass I’m gonna make it my business. It’s no secret that money buys you many benefits in life but when it comes to life and death that’s when it becomes personal. It’s pretty evident within this country that there’s one vital factor that outweighs any law, or any constitutional right and that’s money. When it comes to the justice system the scales of Justice are severely off balance, the poor are convicted and the rich are vindicated. The medical system is sadly no different. As much as I appreciate your inspirational message I don’t owe Steve Jobs any type of respect or sympathy nor does anyone else. In fact the thought of him makes me sick. My father could be alive today just like him if he had money to throw around, not to mention the endless list of recipients waiting for years to be blessed with a liver transplant that Steve Jobs passed by. The amount of children on that list are struggling to survive with parents who would give anything to receive a miracle. Years they wait and suddenly the CEO of Apple gets sick and whatever treatment there is in existence is at his disposal. Give me a break. The last thing the public should do is mind their business or respect Steve Jobs as a role model. That’s the problem with our society today is we turn the cheek and let this shit happen,

  • Richardgwright

    Well said

About the author

Graham Bower

Graham Bower is a digital strategist, writer and fitness fanatic. An Apple-obsessive for over 20 years, Graham's company, Polymath, uses Macs to create ad campaigns for the likes of Nickelodeon, Starbucks and The Economist. Graham is the geek behind MacPredictions, a blog with an uncanny track record for anticipating what Apple will do next. Follow Graham on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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