“I Want More Men To Realize That Osteoporosis Affects Them Too. It’s Not Just A Women’s Disease.”
Gerry Corcoran was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2008. Because the disease runs in his family and his mother had fractured, his doctor sent him for a bone mineral density test. He was prescribed a medication and told to increase his vitamin D and calcium intake, which he did for several years. Then, during a routine physical, it was discovered that his vitamin D level was still low, so he increased his intake again. The combination of calcium, adequate vitamin D and medication resulted in an increase in bone density to the level of low bone mass.
Although the diagnosis has not changed Gerry’s life very much, he knows he is at increased risk of fracture. He makes sure to get enough calcium through his diet and to take vitamin D supplements. He is also very aware of the need for exercise. After his retirement in 2010, Gerry became a volunteer for Osteoporosis Canada. Weather permitting, he walks to the office – a 4 mile/6.5 km walk of about 1 ½ hours. With his background in customer service, Gerry became a valuable addition to the 1-800 information line team, whose role is to provide support and information to callers seeking information on osteoporosis. Gerry has now been volunteering with Osteoporosis Canada for almost 10 years, a remarkable commitment.
Gerry says that working with Osteoporosis Canada has given him a sense of purpose. He feels he can fight back and pay back at the same time. Many callers feel bewildered and anxious when they are first diagnosed and they find it reassuring to speak with someone who has faced the condition. Gerry provides reassurance and support, answers callers’ questions and sends information packages, such as fact sheets on nutrition, diagnosis and drug therapies. Gerry also wants more men to realize that osteoporosis affects them too. It is not just a women’s disease.