JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- His name is Ralph Cocciolo and see if you think he should be husband of the year! One sentence explains it all. He saved his wife's life because he -- not her -- did her breast exam.
Ralph's wife, Barbara, is an attorney with Holland and Knight downtown. She's obviously a sharp cookie.
But like many women, she got so busy she would just do Buddy Check now and then.
Her husband, though, kept seeing the shower card from our Buddy Check kits in their shower. The waterproof cards show how to do a self exam. He asked Barbara if she was checking.
She was honest.
Ralph said, "So I said, well, maybe I'll start checking."
He did exactly that and ran across a lump in Barbara's breast.
"It felt like a garbanzo bean," he said.
Turns out Barbara had breast cancer. She lost her hair during chemo and Ralph shaved his head for support.
Barbara's story includes another person, as well. Pam Carr has worked at Holland and Knight and for 13 years she's sent out emails and reminders to keep women in tune with Buddy Check. She also made sure women have the Buddy Check kits, the ones which include the shower card information which inspired Ralph.
Pam's approach has a fun twist. She emails more than 30 people reminders with poetic flair. Her latest: " ... don't get so caught up with your festies that you forget to check your breasties."
So congrats to Pam and to Ralph and, of course, to Barbara for showing us once again how powerful Buddy Check is.
Barbara is now more than a dozen years out from her cancer diagnosis. She's going strong.
Meanwhile, Ralph encourages all men to remind the women they love. He says a side benefit is actually checking!
Ralph smiles, but he knows his message is life-saving.
If you want a free Buddy Check 12 kit with the shower card, call our partner, Baptist Health at 904-202-CARE.
And we invite you to share your story. Just LIKE Buddy Check 12 on Facebook.
First Coast News