A PARTICIPANT PROFILE
AKEE EDMEAD"The Wellness Community has given me the hope I need to conquer this beast."
Akee Edmead was raised by his mother and grandmother on the beautiful island of Trinidad. They taught him the importance of core values that have guided him throughout his life. “We didn’t have much, but we made do with what we had,” says Akee, 62. Spending much of his adult life in New York City, Akee settled in Phoenix 15 years ago where he earned a living as a commercial and residential painter. “In my boyhood days, my friends and I spoke about coming to the U.S. where we believed that everything came easy,” says Akee in his soft spoken voice. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1995.
In June 2008, Akee’s urologist delivered the news that he had prostate cancer. “My mind went instantly blank. I thought my life would soon be over.” At one of his doctor’s visits, he saw a TWC calendar that he took home to look over. He fondly remembers his first visit to the “charming house on Palm Lane.” “I had no idea what to expect but Jenny, the receptionist, greeted me warmly and immediately made me feel at ease.”
For two years, Akee has faithfully attended the yoga and Tai Chi classes each Wednesday and the Friday Fitness class. He also participates in TWC’s monthly prostate networking group held the first Thursday of each month. Initially, he rode his bicycle — a 4-mile round trip — to the classes. He has since moved farther away, so now he drives. “I’m used to being active, and I’m doing everything I can to stay in shape,” says Akee. “I recently completed my 9-week radiation treatment, and I struggle with fatigue throughout the day. Still, I can’t seem to get a good night’s rest!”
“I think of myself as a determined person, and I’m certain that my routine of exercise, good nutrition and daily prayer has contributed to my healing. But it’s The Wellness Community that has given me the hope I need to conquer this beast.”