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Jim Mann
Retired DJ // Podcaster // Husband, wife Tracy // Father to four children // Studied music and plays guitar // Voice-over business Mann Made Productions

 

 A Scab-like Nuisance

 

Jim Mann has always had a lighthearted yet deeply intentional personality, which likely endeared him to his audience at HIS Radio during his 14 years on the Morning Show.

 

Im not sure when I first noticed it,said Jim, recalling when he saw an ugly scab-like thing on the top of his head. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I first noticed it when my hair began to thin out,he says, laughing.

 

My dermatologist and I didn’t think much of it since I couldn’t feel it. It wasn’t till a few years later that it seemed to me like it was getting uglier and annoying. I accidentally hit it, getting into the car, and it started bleeding. So I went to the dermatologist, pointed that part out, and we decided to have it tested right before I left town for a work trip.

 

Going to the Momentum conference is one of my favorite times of the year. It is the ultimate annual gathering where Christian radio professionals unite under one roof for education, networking, and inspiration.

 

I attended this conference consistently during my 30 years in Christian radio, but none will stand out more than the 2016 event.

 

I brought my oldest son, Michael, to the Momentum conference that year to network and learn more about the industry. As I checked into the hotel, I got a follow-up call from my dermatologist.

 

Jim was diagnosed with Stage Four melanoma and was told later that he should’ve only lived a month or two.

 

My oncologist initially assumed that it had spread through my body, given the size.

 

He said I had Sage Four melanoma, and the prognosis didn’t look good. They scheduled an emergency surgery for the week of my return. The situation was grave.

 

Plan of Attack

 

The Momentum conference is in September. Its morbid to say out loud, but one of my first thoughts was, Im going to miss Christmas.’”

 

Upon his arrival home to Greenville from Momentum, Jim had immediate surgery.

 

So I have the surgery, and its two and a half times larger than they had expected. The prognosis was grim, but by the grace of God, I was cancer-free after the surgery.

 

 18 months later, eight tumors popped up, and the Melanoma was back. My doctor and I decided on an immunotherapy treatment, and within the first two months, all the tumors had shrunk.

 

Jim continued this therapy for two years, and as of today, hes five years cancer-free.

 

Without a doubt, I credit the thousands of listeners praying and cheering for me. The outpouring of support completely floored me. I knew we had a passionate audience, but I was surprised by their actions to show how much they cared. It meant the world to me.”

 

Jim attributes this moment as the catalyst to the transition to his current career as a podcaster.

 

This outpouring of support showed me that I have an effect. I had no idea what impact I had on people. Thousands of letters from fans profoundly impacted me and influenced me to return to work six weeks after my surgery.

 

The Power of Being Intentional

 

Jim believes it was divine intervention that he learned about his cancer at the Momentum conference.

 

“I felt scared and alone after the phone call from my doctor. I asked God if I could run across Mark Hall, a talented singer well-known in Christian music circles. That evening, I came out of the Contemporary, and one person was sitting outside on a bench looking at me.  It was Mark Hall!  We talked about his recent cancer story, and he kept in touch with me during my whole journey.”

 

That moment and many other “moments” made it clear that God was showing him that he was not alone in this journey.

 

Im in the lobby of my doctors office, and a woman I never met before walks up to me and says, I asked God for an opportunity to meet you. I called HIS Radio 11 years ago when I was first diagnosed with melanoma, and I was just looking for prayer support. You were so kind in our conversation, and I’ll never forget that.’”

 

I’ll never forget that moment. She went on to tell me about her cancer journey. It reassured me that Im not in this alone.

 

Im so much more intentional in my relationships. This cancer journey has impacted my perspective on life, and I’ve re-prioritized whats important.

 

Surviving the Journey

 

Even though Jim is retiredfrom radio, he hasn’t retired from working. His latest passion project is with the Healing Strong podcast, I Am Healing Strong. Jim is sharing stories of those thriving in this life that brings so many curveballs along the way.

 

Cancer isn’t just something that attacks your body; the whole picture is important—state of mind, healthy diet, exercise. Im taking better care of myself, and its changed the way I’ve lived.

 

Your frame of mind is one of the most important. When they approached me about the idea for a podcast, I jumped at the opportunity. Its intended for anyone but focuses on those on a cancer journey. Frequently, when an individual receives a cancer diagnosis, they feel alone. The Healing Strong podcast is intended to help fill that void with stories of hope, healing, and living a healthy lifestyle despite the odds, not just for those with a cancer diagnosis, but any life challenge.

 

Like anything Jim is involved in, the Healing Strong podcast is a hit. The Healing Strong organization is the number one network of cancer support groups worldwide.

 

 Its amazing to hear all the stories about how individuals protect themselves. While cancer is a primary topic, the conversation is much more about culture and suggestions for living a holistic, healthy lifestyle. I hear a new story weekly, and none are the same.

 

Its been an absolute joy. The podcast features amazing stories of people thriving who share faith in God and believe they can be healed, no matter the diagnosis or challenge.

 

Jim also established the Healing Strong support group that meets regularly at Cancer Survivors Park.

 

Im looking forward to staying busy. Im helping my wife build her business, and I’ve got my commitment to the podcast. My kids still keep me on my toes. Two of them are married, and Id got my fingers crossed I might be chasing around grandkids one day.