Arthur Blank: Advises Fellow Survivors to Find Purpose and Stay Focused
Perhaps best known as co-founder of The Home Depot, Arthur Blank is widely recognized for his diverse businesses. Blank’s Family of Businesses portfolio currently includes the Atlanta Falcons; Atlanta United; PGA TOUR Superstore; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Mountain Sky Guest Ranch; AMB West, LLC; and AMB Group, the parent company of his for-profit businesses. Blank and the Falcons, in partnership with the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia, are the private funders of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will open in 2017. The stadium will be operated by Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, a company also owned by AMB Group, and will be home to the Falcons and Atlanta United. Here Mr. Blank shares his personal cancer survivor story:
In December 2015, I was diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer. Soon after the diagnosis I chose an aggressive treatment that included surgery. As we all know, there is no fool- proof way to prevent cancer; I’ve never missed an annual physical, I have maintained a healthy diet and I have consistently exercised all my life – yet, I still had cancer. My first thought after receiving the news was my family. After being diagnosed, before treatment, telling my family was the hardest part. Family is the most important thing in my life, and protecting them from any hardship and pain is my life’s purpose.
I think most people that have been diagnosed can agree that hearing you have cancer is an immediate wake-up call. Life is short, we hear it all the time. My diagnosis swiftly encouraged me to re-assess priorities. Successful businesses, a busy day-to-day schedule, professional achievements – they all mean nothing without good health and family. I realized it was time to take a step back professionally, and take another focused step toward the things that bring me internal happiness and peace.
I’ve always strived to live my life with purpose, whether it be through my family, my businesses or through giving back. I encourage those that have cancer, or had cancer, to strive to find your purpose. After cancer, you never completely go back to the person you once were. There are physical and mental challenges daily that can be emotionally draining. Once you determine your purpose and stay focused on who you are, why you are here and what you want – cancer will be one small part of your life’s story. It’s not easy, and some days are harder than others, but your mental drive will take you far beyond your physical capabilities.
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