By Annette Pinder

John DiSciulo is a producer/director at WBBZ-TV in Buffalo. I work with John in producing our television show, “Your Hometown Health Connection,” and it’s been a wonderful experience. John is as passionate about his work as I am.

The one thing that John isn’t enthusiastic about is seeing his doctor. It seems that every time we tape a show together, I ask, “John, did you get the COVID-19 vaccine yet?” His response is always the same. “I worry that if I get the vaccine, I may have a reaction to it and miss a day or two of work in the middle of back-to-back projects.”

Fortunately, John’s daughter, Jade, won’t take no for an answer. She recently said, “Dad, I’m vaccinated. You need to get vaccinated. Stop being that typical guy who stops getting your health squared away!”

John isn’t sure why he, like other men, put off seeing the doctor. He doesn’t know why he can get things done for clients at the station in an instant, yet put off caring for himself.  “That’s how I am. I got my last physical check-up 10 years ago. But now I want to change that and tell others to take care of themselves. Get that colonoscopy, get the vaccine, just do it.”

John recalls, “Years ago, I had a little patch of skin cancer on my face. It started as a little dot. I was at Channel 7 at the time, and it kept growing. Mike Nurse, then sales manager at the station, scolded me until he finally had to make the call to a dermatologist to get an appointment for me.” When John saw the dermatologist, Dr. Brummitte Wilson, the doctor said, “John, do you realize that this is a little bit of skin cancer, but I have to dig deep because of the way the cancer settles in your face? Or do you want to keep waiting until you look like the Phantom of the Opera?”

In an effort to pay more attention to his health, John finally got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He has also made an appointment with his doctor to get a physical and to undergo some routine screenings. He says, “I hope other guys read this that are in the same situation. I’ve been very lucky, but there are too many others who have ignored their symptoms until they turned into something significant or perhaps are no longer here. I know I can’t keep rolling the dice.”

John says he has a lot to live for — “I want to see my daughter, Jade, who is studying to be a psychologist, thrive and succeed. I want to see the projects and companies I’ve worked with thrive and succeed. I want the same for my family and friends. Working on the shows I produce, and with various local non-profits, is gratifying, and I want to continue.”