Bouncing Back After Cancer

Bouncing Back After Cancer

By Steve Shupperd

Shearer Printing was founded in 1937. My father was a printer, and as a kid I watched the local newspaper being printed, so I guess it stayed with me, because I worked there as a teenager and learned how to strip film, run a process camera, things like that. I graduated from high school on a Sunday and started work that Tuesday, back in 1970. In 1978 I was offered a job somewhere else, but the company counteroffered and said, ‘How would you like to be co-owner?’ I’ve helped run the company for 25 years along with my partner Brian Shearer, grandson of the founder

All this time Brian and I have owned this company and bought insurance — and we’ve bought it from everyone — the only thing we ever got from any of them was an invoice at the end of the month. The only thing they ever looked at was when someone was sick. But Rally® comes at you from a completely different direction. It says, if you’re healthy already, let’s keep you healthy. And if you’re not, let’s get you healthy.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2015, right as we were signing up for UHC’s All Savers program, which includes Rally. I was a piece of baggage — and they knew I was broken. I went to several doctors, then had two major surgeries in January, followed by four high-dose radiation treatments. I was pretty much under the weather after that. In February, I started taking advantage of the Trio device, which was part of an All Savers promotion.

When I first started, I couldn’t do 3,000 steps in 45 minutes. Now I get up at 5 am, get my 3,000 steps in, take a shower, and head to work. I’ve lost 30 pounds because of the Trio and Rally. That’s a half of a person. A tiny person, but still. I just feel wonderful. When I had my first checkup, my doctor said, ‘Holy cow, what are you doing? You’re in great shape!’

Steve Shupperd lost 30 pounds using Rally. "That’s a half of a person. A tiny person, but still. I just feel wonderful." Photos by Sam Weibe.
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Now my wife and I have several places to walk near our home, and we’ve rediscovered ourselves after 45 years of marriage. We walk, and talk, and connect. I’m very grateful for that.

Rally has also helped me with food, the idea that half of your plate is vegetables and fruit and the other half is something else. I thought I did that already, and I didn’t even come close. I wasn’t anywhere near where I should have been. I never ate fruit for breakfast, but now it’s always part of my breakfast.

It’s also made me think about eating mindfully. I sit down and eat, and instead of getting up and getting a second helping, I put my plate in the sink and I’m done.

We’re a small company, around 25 people. Everyone knows everyone’s families — the wives, the kids. When things aren’t going well with your health, things aren’t going well in your life. It reflects everywhere. When things are broken, we need to get it fixed asap.

Now I look at this program, and it all make sense. It’s a holistic concept, where health is like a stool with three legs. One leg is motion, and you get credit or points to get up and move. But that’s only part of being healthy. The other leg is diet — when you eat, how you eat, eating mindfully. You can walk a million miles a day, but if you eat junk all day you’re not going to be as healthy. And finally, I’m a religious person, so finding something to be thankful for really resonated with me. Rally sees life the way I see it, or how I am beginning to see it.

It seems that every time I am exposed to a different program within my All Savers product I am even more convinced that as company owners we made the perfect choice for our employees’ insurance. The Rally concept with the Trio Motion is awesome!

My wife and I had a great holiday at our place in Michigan recently. Because of Rally I had a very funny thing happen. One of my Missions is “Stretching,” and so I have started doing it on our front deck at the lake in the morning. Evidently the sight of a big 64-year-old man “stretching” is a little more than my neighbors could handle! One guy said he was suffering from “emotional blindness” after watching me try to touch my toes. Ha!

I am working on four Missions currently and have built up 8,225 Rally Coins. At our next employee monthly meeting, I will mention the Rally program and encourage our employees to enroll and begin reaping the benefits it has to offer.

The coins you get for doing things are all cool, but the bottom line is, if it’s going to make you a healthier person, do it and be happy. When the doctor in the white coat comes in and says, ‘You’ve got cancer,’ it’s a game changer. But by God’s grace, it worked out.