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Jack Essig’s Esquire & Hearst Men’s Group: One Man’s Passion For The Brands He Believes In Makes Selling The Magazines’ Experiences To Advertisers Quite Exciting Indeed – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Jack Essig, Chief Revenue Officer, Hearst Men’s Group

November 7, 2016

november

“Some of those things were super-hot, red-hot at the time, and then they simmered down. They worked for a lot of marketers, and they worked for a lot of magazine brands to bring exposure to the consumers out there for both the magazine brand and for the advertiser that locked into and surrounded themselves with that. But at the end of the day, it still comes down to a lot of really beautiful creative, running opposite or within great content and I think hopefully that things are getting back to the basics of just smart marketing for marketers, and creating really smart 360 programs where you’re delivering on the print message and then you’re also doing something crazy-smart digitally for them.” Jack Essig (On whether he thinks all of the new toys and bells and whistles of today are here to stay)

Jack Essig joined Hearst Men’s group in 2011 when it was a newly formed idea to bring the Group’s audiences together to amplify their advertising partners’ campaigns across a broader spectrum of men’s interests. Jack came from a strong and diverse background; from Men’s Journal to Men’s Health to Women’s Health, serving as publisher at the majority of those titles. So, it’s safe to say he has a deep knowledge of how to best serve his advertising partners and the brands’ readers.

I spoke with Jack on a recent visit to New York and we talked about the Hearst Men’s Group, Esquire in particular, and Jack admitted that these days 80 percent of his energies are devoted to Esquire, as he had fabulous publishers at his other titles, Car and Driver, Road & Track and Popular Mechanics, that kept the magazines running, sales-wise, like well-oiled machines. We also talked about his passion for the Hearst Men’s Group brands and how he and his team value the advertiser and the reader in everything that they do. It was a deeply knowledgeable look into the business side of some very successful titles and at a company (Hearst) that has always valued their print product as much as their digital innovations.

So, I hope that you enjoy this glimpse into the world of magazine revenue and business, and how print and digital play their inimitable roles throughout the process – the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jack Essig, Chief revenue Officer, Hearst Men’s Group.

But first the sound-bites:

Jack Essig

Jack Essig

On how his role as CRO has changed over the last five years he’s spent at Hearst: Honestly, I think David (Carey) and Michael (Clinton) brought me over because they anticipated changes happening. You have to understand; we created the Hearst Men’s Group really before a lot of other groups started consolidating a bit. So, that was the goal; how do we maximize these great brands under one marketing department? And how do we get the best automotive sales reps in the industry to rep all of these magazines? And it’s working.

On whether those changes were easy and a walk in the Rose Garden for him: No, I wouldn’t say that it was a walk in the Rose Garden, but I do love a challenge. And there was a lot of great talent out there that we brought on who could see the way the business was going and they embraced that, understanding that print is alive and well, but that we also had this huge opportunity to go after digital dollars.

On whether he thinks grouping magazines together is simply going back to our roots or it’s a new trend in the states: I think each brand has to have its individual voice, but I definitely believe that there are big opportunities in shared resources, and many times it can work best for the overall brand.

On how he divides his energies between all of the brands: Right now, I would say that I am putting 80 percent of my energy into Esquire. And I’m able to do that because we’ve got a great publisher on Car and Driver and Road & Track, Felix Difilippo, and a great publisher at Popular Mechanics, Cameron Connors. So, as much as I have daily check-ins with them and we’re forever talking about different accounts and how we can group them together and leverage them to give us the most business, I really am focused primarily on Esquire.

On how his job was impacted by the change from David Granger as editor in chief to Jay Fielden: With Esquire specifically, David Granger did a fantastic job and deserves all of the credit in the world for everything he did in his tenure here. What Jay is doing is sort of keeping what was always great about Esquire, such as how it was always rooted in journalism, and he’s also been a subscriber, reader of Esquire since he was, I believe he said, fourteen-years-old, so he has this great passion; he bleeds the brand. Jay came in and he had a very clear vision of where he could see it going. I think what has changed in magazines is we’d be foolish in thinking that affluent, successful, cultured men have the time or desire to read five to seven different magazines based on all of their varied interests. And what Esquire does best is it puts this great Esquire filter over all of those things that I might be interested in and delivers it in one place. And that I think we do much better than anybody else does.

On how he is using that filter to bring in more products to the brand: When we look at our overall editorial mix, we have grooming now in every single issue. Grooming is a category that men are not like women; they’re not talking to each other day-to-day about their grooming regiments, but I believe Esquire has the opportunity to be the source that they turn to, whether it is in the magazine or online, to get their grooming tips.

On whether his passion for the brands he has worked for, both past and present, is a reflection of him or rather the brands themselves: It is me. I need to believe in the brand that I sell. When I was at Traditional Home, my wife and I had just purchased our first home, so we were sort of diving deep into that world. And I really got behind that and I believed in what Traditional Home was doing at that time. And it continues to be a good brand. I saw early on what David and Michael were doing here (at Hearst) and how anything I heard them speak about reflected how they embraced magazines and media, and wanted to stay ahead of what was about to happen next. And not only the opportunity to come to Hearst, but to work on these brands, and that was the most ideal thing that I could think of. And I’ve been thrilled here for five years.

On whether advertisers come to him asking to be on the websites or the apps, or whether print is still the cornerstone of the brands: I think it depends on the ad category and then it depends on the advertiser. We’re so fortunate; all brands at Hearst are fortunate that if budgets do shift to digital, we have a stronger digital story than most out there. So, we can collect on those dollars. I think that we lead with the brand – say the brand of Esquire, we lead and that’s the cornerstone. It’s not necessarily just the magazine that’s the cornerstone. The magazine is one of the biggest spokes that we have, but we really are a 360 brand.

On Hearst’s continued investment in print, even when they were delving into digital: And you look at their track record of what they’ve invested in when others weren’t, some of the bestselling magazines on newsstand right now are launches like Food Network HGTV, so I think that if they’re investing in print right now, it goes to show that here are experts in this field and they’re still investing, and others should take note that print is alive and well from that Hearst proven track record.

popular-mechanics-december-16On whether he thinks men’s magazines are coming of age and finding a broader audience: Car and Driver and Road & Track are doing exceptionally well; 2016 was an exceptional year for Popular Mechanics. And when you look at Esquire magazine, I think what Jay has done a good job with, and continues to, is that it’s a magazine that a father and son can enjoy together. It’s much less about a demographic, but much more about a sensibility. And I do believe that there are young men who are 27 and then there are men who are 57 that are having a harder time finding really smart content out there, and that have an appreciation for great writing and journalism.

On native advertising: That’s a tough question. I do believe that everyone looks at the whole native advertising concept very black or white, when it’s really a very gray area. I firmly believe, and we have so many examples, of delivering an advertiser’s message either in or around great edit. Done right, it enhances the reader’s experience and really puts the product front and center. I think Jay Fielden is absolutely open to talking about creative ways to incorporate the advertiser’s message throughout a lot of the content. And we have to be careful of who the advertiser is and what the content is. As long as there’s value to the reader, we are absolutely open to it because that’s the win-win we’re all looking for.

On what has been the biggest stumbling block he’s had to face: If it was a stumbling block or a real opportunity is that a lot of our marketers turn to us to be their marketing department. They have less and less time. And we may have looked at that as a stumbling block, but it was really the opportunity to help them and go back to them with solutions.

On whether he thinks all of the bells and whistles of today are here to stay or merely passing fads: I think any advertisers that were smart enough to jump in on a first-ever got a lot of PR, whether it was the Live Inc. cover or if it was an augmented reality. Esquire has always been known for great innovation. And people continue to ask us what the new, big thing that we’re working on is.

On the most pleasant moment he’s had over the last five years: There’s no doubt that 2016 was a really challenging year for many of us, but it was a time that this team worked so incredibly hard and we sold so many really, really smart programs. And we used the downturn to sort of prepare for the upturn, which we are hoping is 2017. We feel really ready for that. We used it as a time to get out with our message, the new message of Esquire; it is a new era and a new day at Esquire. That alone was an exciting time, but every win that you have, large or small, I think you celebrate.

On anything else he’d like to add: If we had to do this interview again in one year; I think it would be a really exciting read to see just how we talk about the new era of Esquire. And how that is really going to come to life this year, because I do think 2017 is going to be the year for Esquire.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly to his home one evening: I have four daughters and a wife and two dogs; you’d catch me multitasking something. I think I’m always and forever checking emails, but I’m probably working on some homework assignment and half eating dinner; there’s always a lot going on in the Essig house. My oldest is a senior in high school; she just turned 17. Recently one evening, we were talking a lot about her college applications; it’s an exciting time for her. And then my youngest is in fourth grade, so we’re going through a lot of her math problems and talking to them about their day.

On what keeps him up at night: That changes on any given day, but I think overall it’s: how do you stay ahead? It’s so exciting that we are part of an industry that continues to evolve and I think our success comes from us staying ahead of the pack, leading. At any given time we have 10 big ideas out there. What keeps me up at night is wondering how I can close these big ideas.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jack Essig, Chief Revenue Officer, Hearst Men’s Group.

Samir Husni: You just celebrated your fifth anniversary at Hearst, and quite a number of changes have taken place under your tenure with the company; how has your role as chief revenue officer changed over the course of those five years?

Jack Essig: Honestly, I think David (Carey) and Michael (Clinton) brought me over because they anticipated changes happening. You have to understand; we created the Hearst Men’s Group really before a lot of other groups started consolidating a bit. So, that was the goal; how do we maximize these great brands under one marketing department? And how do we get the best automotive sales reps in the industry to rep all of these magazines? And it’s working.

So, I think we had a vision early on and we’re always trying to stay ahead of what’s going to happen and embrace how our business continues to evolve.

Samir Husni: And was that a walk through the Rose Garden for you; was it easy?

Jack Essig: No, I wouldn’t say that it was a walk in the Rose Garden, but I do love a challenge. And there was a lot of great talent out there that we brought on who could see the way the business was going and they embraced that, understanding that print is alive and well, but that we also had this huge opportunity to go after digital dollars. No matter what the client was asking for, we wanted to create a group that could deliver on all of those things.

esquire-coverSamir Husni: Historically speaking, Esquire was always a part of a group. I did some research and went back to my vault and dug up the first issue of Esquire; the fifth anniversary issue, but they were part of a group of Coronet and Ken, which was an oversized, political weekly in the 1930s, published by David Smart. So, there was always this connectivity, and with some very big names as well. Ernest Heming way was supposed to be the editor of Ken magazine, but they had one article from him in that first issue and then they had a sidebar that read despite Hemingway’s promise to read and edit all of the articles, he never participated in any way, but they would keep him on the masthead as a contributing writer until he either resigned or they fired him. (Laughs) And then of course, he began writing for Esquire later.

Jack Essig: (Laughs too.)

Samir Husni: Do you think this is the future; are we taking a page from the past? There is nothing new in grouping those magazines, and David Smart was the publisher of all three. Are we going back to our roots or is this a new trend in the States?

Jack Essig: I think each brand has to have its individual voice, but I definitely believe that there are big opportunities in shared resources, and many times it can work best for the overall brand.

Samir Husni: With all of these different brands, how easy is it for you to shuffle between them, or not to be tempted to put more energy into one than the other?

car-and-driver-december-16-newsstandJack Essig: Right now, I would say that I am putting 80 percent of my energy into Esquire. And I’m able to do that because we’ve got a great publisher on Car and Driver and Road & Track, Felix Difilippo, and a great publisher at Popular Mechanics, Cameron Connors. So, as much as I have daily check-ins with them and we’re forever talking about different accounts and how we can group them together and leverage them to give us the most business, I really am focused primarily on Esquire.

And that’s what’s super-exciting; it’s a whole new era at Esquire. There’s so much that we need to do, but we have the product to do it and the voice to make some noise. And people really want to hear what’s going on at Esquire, so that’s taking up the majority of my time and excites me.

Samir Husni: You’ve been here since David Granger was the editor, but now with Jay Fielden as the new editorial director and editor in chief; did that impact your role at all? How did the market react to the change?

Jack Essig: I’ve always been a huge Esquire fan. And that was why it was so easy to come, not only to Esquire, which is a brand that I’ve always loved, but all four of the brands that are in the Hearst’s Men’s Group, I’ve always had a great respect for, and really liked. So, it was easy for me to come over here.

But with Esquire specifically, David Granger did a fantastic job and deserves all of the credit in the world for everything he did in his tenure here. What Jay is doing is sort of keeping what was always great about Esquire, such as how it was always rooted in journalism, and he’s also been a subscriber, reader of Esquire since he was, I believe he said, fourteen-years-old, so he has this great passion; he bleeds the brand. Jay came in and he had a very clear vision of where he could see it going. I think Jay has an incredible pulse of what our readers want from this brand and he is going to deliver on that promise.

So, I wouldn’t say that everything has completely blown up and changed. I think Esquire is always going to be known and rooted for the best quality. If it comes from Esquire, it’s got to be true journalism. I just think that we’re incorporating more. The idea being, we’re not trying to be everything to everybody; we’re trying to be most things to this one particular, sophisticated guy across many different categories.

I think what has changed in magazines is we’d be foolish in thinking that affluent, successful, cultured men have the time or desire to read five to seven different magazines based on all of their varied interests. And what Esquire does best is it puts this great Esquire filter over all of those things that I might be interested in and delivers it in one place. And that I think we do much better than anybody else does.

Samir Husni: And how are you using that filter to bring new products to the magazines?

Jack Essig: When we look at our overall editorial mix, we have grooming now in every single issue. Grooming is a category that men are not like women; they’re not talking to each other day-to-day about their grooming regiments, but I believe Esquire has the opportunity to be the source that they turn to, whether it is in the magazine or online, to get their grooming tips.

I think the same is true around fashion. We are a trusted source, men don’t want to know what just came off of the runway; they want and they have the propensity to spend on brands they believe in, but they want to turn to Esquire to see how they can dress it up or dress it down.

Samir Husni: You talk with such passion about Esquire and about what’s happening with the magazine. I have to ask, when you were at Traditional Home, did you always have that same passion, or when you moved to Men’s Health or Women’s Health; is that you or is it the reflection of the brand on you?

Jack Essig: It is me. I need to believe in the brand that I sell. When I was at Traditional Home, my wife and I had just purchased our first home, so we were sort of diving deep into that world. And I really got behind that and I believed in what Traditional Home was doing at that time. And it continues to be a good brand.

But then I really did set my sights on following other passions that I had. I went from there to Men’s Journal, which was a magazine that I subscribed to, and I loved my time there. And then I went on to become the publisher of Men’s Health magazine. I was big into triathlons and fitness is a part of my life. And then we launched Women’s Health, which is also a great magazine.

From there it was the opportunity to come to Hearst. I saw early on what David and Michael were doing here and how anything I heard them speak about reflected how they embraced magazines and media, and wanted to stay ahead of what was about to happen next. And not only the opportunity to come to Hearst, but to work on these brands, and that was the most ideal thing that I could think of. And I’ve been thrilled here for five years.

Samir Husni: When I used to speak with CEOs and other industry leaders back in the ‘80s, the Golden Age of magazines; magazines were always referred to as a printed product, and that is still my own definition of a magazine today; if it’s not ink on paper, it’s not a magazine. Find another name for it. It’s a great platform, but why should we call it a magazine? Nobody ever called television radio with pictures. The editor of Forbes, Randall Lane, recently said they’ve made the magazine more magazine-ier, and that’s why he believes that their print readership is the highest now than it’s been in their 99 years. With Esquire and Popular Mechanics, there is a lot of history behind all of these titles; do you now differentiate when you’re selling these brands? Do advertisers come to you and say they need to be on the websites or on the apps or is print still the cornerstone of the brands?

Jack Essig: I think it depends on the ad category and then it depends on the advertiser. We’re so fortunate; all brands at Hearst are fortunate that if budgets do shift to digital, we have a stronger digital story than most out there. So, we can collect on those dollars. I think that we lead with the brand – say the brand of Esquire, we lead and that’s the cornerstone. It’s not necessarily just the magazine that’s the cornerstone. The magazine is one of the biggest spokes that we have, but we really are a 360 brand.

And I think what advertisers are turning to us for is big ideas, because they know that we can deliver and we have the proven track record to deliver on these ideas. We spend a lot of our time showing advertisers case studies of others who have felt the same way and have had the same issues, and here’s how we problem-solved for them.

Samir Husni: I give David and Michael credit anytime I write or speak about Hearst; it was the only company that did not abandon print when they began to dive into digital.

Jack Essig: You’re absolutely right.

Samir Husni: They upsized the magazines and upgraded the paper; Hearst was one of the few companies that invested in print at the same time they were investing in digital.

Jack Essig: And you look at their track record of what they’ve invested in when others weren’t, some of the bestselling magazines on newsstand right now are launches like Food Network HGTV, so I think that if they’re investing in print right now, it goes to show that here are experts in this field and they’re still investing, and others should take note that print is alive and well from that Hearst proven track record.

Samir Husni: As a chief revenue officer in charge of the men’s category, are men’s magazines as a whole coming of age? Women’s magazines have previously been recognized as the ones that have the huge, thick issues and special editions; nobody ever talks about the “Seven Brothers.” People in the industry always refer to the “Seven Sisters.” Are we seeing a change in the marketplace?

Jack Essig: Car and Driver and Road & Track are doing exceptionally well; 2016 was an exceptional year for Popular Mechanics. And when you look at Esquire magazine, I think what Jay has done a good job with, and continues to, is that it’s a magazine that a father and son can enjoy together. It’s much less about a demographic, but much more about a sensibility. And I do believe that there are young men who are 27 and then there are men who are 57 that are having a harder time finding really smart content out there, and that have an appreciation for great writing and journalism.

And the idea that we respect their time enough to curate this magazine and deliver all of the information in one spot is not only appealing to readers, but also to our biggest advertisers and marketers and that’s what they love about the brand.

Samir Husni: I was reading a speech that Henry Luce gave in 1937 for the Connecticut Ad Club. He was struggling with life after one year of publishing and he said to the advertisers, and I’m paraphrasing somewhat, “You’re the only one I can come to; if you don’t support me, LIFE will not exist. I need you to buy X-number of pages.” Of course, I found out that someone wrote in Fortune years later that he’d had a few too many drinks before he gave the speech. (Laughs) And I found a lot of native advertising in the old LIFE magazines and in Esquire, they never called it native advertising, but it was there. Who has your mantra quote; if you were to appear in the magazine industry court, who would be your defender and prosecutor?

Jack Essig: That’s a tough question. I do believe that everyone looks at the whole native advertising concept very black or white, when it’s really a very gray area. I firmly believe, and we have so many examples, of delivering an advertiser’s message either in or around great edit. Done right, it enhances the reader’s experience and really puts the product front and center. I think Jay Fielden is absolutely open to talking about creative ways to incorporate the advertiser’s message throughout a lot of the content. And we have to be careful of who the advertiser is and what the content is. As long as there’s value to the reader, we are absolutely open to it because that’s the win-win we’re all looking for.

It’s not easy; because I think too many people might do it much like advertorials. Advertorials, early on, were smart. And then people starting getting loose with them and they didn’t look as great. And consumers were smarter than that. With a lot of this native advertising, some brands have diluted it to a point where the reader could see through it, and frankly I thought that the marketers should have realized that it did more harm than good. Done right, it is the win-win that we’re looking for.

And that’s what good communication with your editor, being in lock-step with what the editors are doing, and then in the big, big ideas, incorporating the seed of an idea before anything is flushed out. Working with your advertising partner in incorporating their DNA right in the big overall initiative; the editorial initiative that you’re doing, so that the editors are right there with you and the advertiser, talking about how this is all going to look. And then managing their expectations and setting real goals, because at the end of the day, if you help in achieving and surpassing what the advertiser’s original goal was and you sell product, you’re only going to become that much closer to your marketing partner.

Samir Husni: I saw a picture in the office of the editor of Western Horseman magazine in Colorado Springs a few years back when they were still there He had an ad that he’d framed from some old magazine and the words: If you create a great magazine for the readers, you’ll be creating a great magazine for the advertisers.

Jack Essig: I totally believe that.

Samir Husni: People buy the magazines for both. You’ll never find anybody tearing the ads from a magazine before they start reading the articles, like we do with the DVR. What has been the biggest stumbling block that you’ve faced in these last five years and how did you overcome it?

Jack Essig: If it was a stumbling block or a real opportunity is that a lot of our marketers turn to us to be their marketing department. They have less and less time. And we may have looked at that as a stumbling block, but it was really the opportunity to help them and go back to them with solutions.

We talk a lot in our sales and marketing meetings about the fact that we’re most effective when we listen more than we are if we just assume that we know what they’re trying to face, because the more information that we can get from these advertisers about what they need help with solving, the more we can go back and ideate and really come up with an answer that suits what they’re looking to do and can be delivered out to all of our readers.

So, a stumbling block would be, are we staying ahead of what the next new shiny toy is? I think we’re fortunate to be a part of Hearst because we are given the resources to arm everybody with whatever that new thing is. But we’re really focused on what the readers want and working closely with the editorial department to deliver that.

Samir Husni: You mentioned the new toys; do you think that all of these toys and gimmicks that we’ve implemented within the magazines, whether it’s augmented reality; the new things that Condé Nast said they were going to do, in terms of some visual AR. Do you think these things are fads or are they here to stay? And are they helping your job?

ROA1216_Zinio.pdfJack Essig: I think any advertisers that were smart enough to jump in on a first-ever got a lot of PR, whether it was the Live Inc. cover or if it was an augmented reality. Esquire has always been known for great innovation. And people continue to ask us what the new, big thing that we’re working on is.

Some of those things were super-hot, red-hot at the time, and then they simmered down. They worked for a lot of marketers, and they worked for a lot of magazine brands to bring exposure to the consumers out there for both the magazine brand and for the advertiser that locked into and surrounded themselves with that. But at the end of the day, it still comes down to a lot of really beautiful creative, running opposite or within great content and I think hopefully that things are getting back to the basics of just smart marketing for marketers, and creating really smart 360 programs where you’re delivering on the print message and then you’re also doing something crazy-smart digitally for them. And perhaps it’s celebrated with a great event.

Samir Husni: What has been the most pleasant moment during the last five years?

Jack Essig: There’s no doubt that 2016 was a really challenging year for many of us, but it was a time that this team worked so incredibly hard and we sold so many really, really smart programs. And we used the downturn to sort of prepare for the upturn, which we are hoping is 2017. We feel really ready for that. We used it as a time to get out with our message, the new message of Esquire; it is a new era and a new day at Esquire. That alone was an exciting time, but every win that you have, large or small, I think you celebrate.

The most fun is having and building a team; it really is. The team here and you can feel it. And I love when people come to our floor and work with the Hearst Men’s Group and they see how everyone has a passion and conviction for what they do. And when you go in and you put yourselves in front of clients and you show that you bleed these brands and you really believe in the idea, that becomes contagious and they get super-excited about that and I’m told time and time again that we’re not only delivering a great idea, but that the entire team has passion behind that, which fuels us to go and sell the next one.

Samir Husni: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Jack Essig: If we had to do this interview again in one year; I think it would be a really exciting read to see just how we talk about the new era of Esquire. And how that is really going to come to life this year, because I do think 2017 is going to be the year for Esquire.

Samir Husni: If I showed up unexpectedly to your home one evening after work, what would I find you doing; reading a magazine; reading your iPad; having a glass of wine; watching television; or something else?

Jack Essig: I have four daughters and a wife and two dogs; you’d catch me multitasking something. I think I’m always and forever checking emails, but I’m probably working on some homework assignment and half eating dinner; there’s always a lot going on in the Essig house. My oldest is a senior in high school; she just turned 17. Recently one evening, we were talking a lot about her college applications; it’s an exciting time for her. And then my youngest is in fourth grade, so we’re going through a lot of her math problems and talking to them about their day. I love my time with the girls.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Jack Essig: That changes on any given day, but I think overall it’s: how do you stay ahead? It’s so exciting that we are part of an industry that continues to evolve and I think our success comes from us staying ahead of the pack, leading. At any given time we have 10 big ideas out there. What keeps me up at night is wondering how I can close these big ideas.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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One comment

  1. Dear Hearst Men’s Group,

    I am hoping your audience would enjoy hearing my story of being the nation’s first and only 9 time cancer survivor. I live in Atlanta, however I feel my story will resonate for a local or national audience and with any person battling Cancer. I celebrate my victories every year on National Cancer Survivors Day, June 4th, 2017! Events and celebrations are held and hosted around the United States by local communities, hospitals and support groups honoring cancer survivors. Perhaps my story could help your viewers celebrate this event?

    Sincerely, Andrew

    My name is Andrew Kuzyk, I am a 54 year old 9 time cancer warrior from Atlanta, Georgia. In fact, the nation’s first and only 9 time cancer survivor.

    Hearing yet another dismal diagnosis is like a vicious slap to the face, it takes a moment or two to wrap your head around it. The aftermath is perplexing, painful and quite bewildering at best. When I was diagnosed March 2017 with multiple Malignant Melanomas, even though I was sitting in an oncology office, the revelation was nonetheless bone jarring. It was shocking and also very depressing. Only God can heal the body and the soul, this has been my mantra in fighting deadly cancers.

    In June of 1970, at the end of 2nd grade at Campbell Elementary in Muskegon, Michigan, my very first experience with deadly cancer. Little did I know this would be a lifelong relationship. I was only 8 years old and I found this slightly raised spot on my right arm. I had a history of skin cancer on both sides of my family. I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carsinoma, which led to excision surgery to remove the cancer.

    For the next 9 years, I thought my health was back to normal. But severe physical pain developed in my left leg began in the beginning of 1980, though I tried to dismiss the pain as minor. A Cat Scan showed an Osteosarcoma bone tumor in my left leg. My doctor reluctantly told me that I might lose my left leg. I never prayed so hard in my entire life for God’s miraculous healing. We all need to realize that human impossibilities are God’s glorious opportunities.

    I endured another two major reconstructive surgeries to my left leg. Somehow I came through the surgeries, bone graphs and merciless rehabilitation. Another four years passed, and I began experiencing chronic digestive issues and severe abdominal pains. A routine scan of my abdomen uncovered T2 Gallbladder tumors in my gallbladder. This time at ripe age 21.

    I needed severe and invasive surgery which left my weakened body in septic shock. Miraculously by God’s healing grace, I was able to eventually overcome the infection and slowly recover. After being cancer free for the next 13 years, I thought I was free from cancer for good, but during a routine skin examination, doctors found a stage 4 Malignant Melanoma tumor on my upper back at the age of 34. A secondary stage 4 Melanoma tumor was found in my lower back which required wide excision surgery followed by painful skin grafts on both surgical sites. The treatment was successful and God delivered me once more.

    After beating cancer for a 5th time, I took a new approach towards life. I focused on living a healthier lifestyle and working to help other cancer patients in need. I wanted to start a foundation for folks battling cancers, I also went back to school and was studying in hopes of one day working as a cancer counselor. Unfortunately, I had to put all of that on hold when I found out that I had cancer for the 6th time. I was undergoing a cardiac stent procedure and during recovery felt tremendous pain in my right kidney. A kidney scan revealed a large malignant tumor deep in the center of my right kidney. My surgeons and oncologist were not optimistic on my chances this time. Cancer vastly changes your perceptions on life and living. Every new day comes to me as a gift from the gracious hand of God, whether it is the last day of a short life or the first day of a long and healthy life.

    Thankfully, the doctors were able to remove the walnut size tumor in full and I have adjusted to living with only one kidney and cautiously moved forward. Unfortunately, in 2017 I was biopsied three times and all of the biopsies returned as Malignant Melanoma cancers, requiring multiple surgeries. Cancer has made me aware that human impossibilities are God’s healing opportunities.

    I do not plan on giving up and will continue to fight with the same attitude and faith I have had since I was 8 years of age. What is impossible on Earth is possible with God. I have been looking into Alternative therapy clinics across the US and even out of the country for treatments. Unfortunately for me, these alternative therapy clinics are not covered under my healthcare and are extremely expensive.

    I have helped many families that were put in distress due to cancer related issues and now I need some help myself. Throughout my 9 battles with cancer, multiple major surgeries, and countless hospital visits, I have never asked for any financial help. I now suffer from an Ascending Aortic Anuerysm, Heart Disease, Lupus Disease and Double Knee Replacement. I have to admit that I can longer hold my own, as this situation has become unavoidable. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Any prayers are accepted and appreciated with the utmost gratitude.

    Thank You,

    Andrew Kuzyk

    909 Galloway Ct
    McDonough, Georgia 30253
    480 251 6578



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