Tobin stays positive during tough times
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a three-part series featuring the honorary co-chairs for this year's Heart and Sole Cancer Walk in Mitchell, held Friday at Mitchell Middle School. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.
Cancer is a battle that no individual wants to fight, nor is it something that many people can keep a positive light around after diagnosis.
One of the survivors of this battle, who managed to keep his positive demeanor throughout, is Mike Tobin.
Tobin, 63, is one of this year's three honorary co-chairs for the annual Mitchell Heart and Sole Cancer Walk on Friday.
In 1985, at age 30, Tobin's testicular cancer was diagnosed during a routine physical. The cancer was caught in its early stages.
He then went on to receive six weeks of radiation and multitudes of tests.
Eventually with a team of doctors, Tobin rose above the circumstances and receive successful treatment.
"Cancer is simply a bad thing for anyone to deal with, but you have to maintain a positive attitude," he said.
Darcy Sabers, chairman of the Mitchell Heart and Sole organization, said honorary co-chairs are voted into a group by the teams that show up to the event each year, and then the group is narrowed by the committee board members until the co-chairs are chosen.
Sabers said Tobin is always making appearances at community events such as local fundraisers, sporting events for Dakota Wesleyan University, and is very active in the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk activities.
Tobin mentioned that he has won Fan of the Year for two years for Dakota Wesleyan athletics, and since 2008 he has been actively involved with the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk.
"Tobin has been nominated for the last five years by the committee," said Sabers.
Tobin has a strong love for the Mitchell community and described his passion for the community in a simple two-word phrase, "You betcha."
Though the cancer was caught at an early stage, that does not disregard the fear the family had of the situation.
"Anytime you hear the word 'cancer' as a family you usually tend to think the worst," said Sue Collins, Tobin's sister.
Collins also said they knew Tobin would be in good care in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Tobin was residing at the time of diagnosis, but that still did not ease the pain of the situation.
Collins mentioned that their parents had contact with the doctors immediately and were reassured the cancer was caught early enough that radiation therapy would be all that was needed.
That proved to be true.
Collins also stated multiple times that Tobin is very proud of being a cancer survivor. "He once got up in front of church and announced how blessed he is to be a survivor," she said.
Collins noted as well that he is very quick to tell anyone his story.
"He was very scared when he was diagnosed as he was the first in the family, but he learned to embrace positivity through his adversity," said Collins.
Collins noted that she admired her brother's attitude, and the terrific work of the supporting staff for him.
"I think just having a positive attitude and a good support staff around you in this type of situation makes all the difference," said Collins.
Tobin has some great advice for other cancer patients out there battling: "Keep fighting, and beat that cancer to a pulp."