DeMarco Morgan is using his platform – and his friends – to influence men to both be more aware and take care of their health closely.
The ABC anchor – who is now a host on GMA3 following Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes‘ departures – recently celebrated his 45th birthday, the year the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends people start getting routine colonoscopies.
Not more than three months after the milestone birthday, DeMarco dutifully scheduled his screening, and not only for himself, but he did so with his childhood friends too, so they could get through it together.
Speaking with People about his decision to both publicly document his first colonoscopy, and do so with his friends, he said: “I think it was a responsibility of mine,” explaining: “I wanted to do it, but I didn’t want to do it alone… We can do it as a group and save our lives and possibly save some others.”
DeMarco relied on childhood friends Alfred Cayasso and Ronnie Stewart to destigmatize conversations around men’s health, and maintained it should be as casual and frequent as “locker room talk.”
He said: “Men, we go to the barbershop together, the bar together, sports games together, bachelor parties together, but we don’t go to the doctor together,” noting: “When it comes to something that can save our life, everybody in the room is quiet. We don’t talk about it.”
DeMarco continued: “Whereas the ladies that I know – because I don’t want to generalize – they’re like, ‘Girl, we’re going to get a mammogram. Oh, I just had one.’ They do stuff together or they talk about issues together.”
“We don’t,” he stated, and went on: “So why not do something differently?” noting: “Think about the impact that we could have by people seeing three Black men not just going to get tested, but going to do it together.”
Though he’s aware a colonoscopy isn’t “a sexy thing to do,” he was hoping he and his friends could convey relatability and offer motivation.
“We literally had each other,” he said of having his two friends by his side, adding: “We were all at some point nervous but the support that we were able to give each other along the way, it helped.
“Also, a lot of times people think it is a painful procedure. And I think for some reason that message isn’t loud and clear that it’s not a painful procedure… You feel nothing before, during, or after.”
He ultimately maintained: “We’ve got to find a way to make it cool to go get checked up and make sure you are fine,” and, noting how Black men are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a higher rate, said: “When you look at the numbers and how it disproportionately affects us, it’s alarming. I think when people see people who look like them in powerful positions going to the doctor and saying, ‘It’s okay,’ they too will jump in line.”
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