In the meantime, Devereaux is doing all he can to be an advocate, to raise awareness of male breast cancer. There’s still a perception that breast cancer is a women’s disease, and many men don’t think it can happen to them.
“It’s difficult for a lot of guys to come to grips with having, at the bottom line, a women’s disease,” he said. “We’ve still got a long ways to go, we’ve still got work to be done.”
Fortunately for Devereaux, family and friends have rallied around. One of seven children, Devereaux said his family, his wife and his 15-year-old daughter have been incredibly supportive.
“One thing you learn early on: All my friends, all my family, we all have it. It’s not just me,” he said. “Cancer’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport.”
Among his biggest supporters has been a group of men with whom he used to play pickup basketball games. Last year, they approached him about organizing a tournament to raise money for breast cancer awareness. It was a success, and this year, the second annual Turkey Shootout, a four-on-four tournament, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24, at 8:30 a.m. at Boston North Fitness Center in Danvers.
This year, all proceeds from the tournament will go to Art beCAUSE, a Massachusetts-based organization with a goal to discover breast cancer’s environmental causes.
A former ultramarathoner and Golden Glove boxer, Devereaux said he’s happy now just being able to walk two or three miles. And as he’s had to make life changes, his friends have adapted, too. Where they used to go out for a drink after work, now they hit the juice bar for a shot of wheatgrass.
“I tell people I’m one of the richest guys I know,” he said.
For more information about Devereaux, visit www.peterdevereaux.com. To register for the Turkey Shootout, email Devereaux at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheryl Lecesse can be reached at 978-338-2664 or email@example.com.