Mighty Titan art by series creator Joe Martino with Jeff Austin and Ross Hughes.

FrontCover“I am sorry, Mr. Martino. You have renal cell carcinoma.”

These were the last words that my 33 year old innocent, clear-minded self ever heard. From that dark day forward, I had cancer. Life was over. Yet, through the love, support and resolve of my friends, family and doctors. I survived cancer. Twice.

Now, imagine for a moment that you are the world’s strongest protector- a super-hero in every sense of the word. Imagine that no knife, no bullet or bomb can even scratch you. Then, imagine that you are told that you have cancer.

Titan is a character who is, for all intents and purposes, invulnerable. He cannot be harmed by any means known to man. His alter ego doesn’t have the same luck. In fact, Titan’s alter ego is dying. So, what now?

When we are not touched by cancer we, like Titan, have a blind faith in our own invulnerability. We all operate under the belief that we are invunerable. And, aren’t we all someone else’s protector? Aren’t we each everything to someone else? This belief only lasts up until that lump is found, or pain starts, or an (un)lucky scan is made. At that point, we face our own undeniable mortality.

How we deal with illness and mortality defines us. How we live, and overcome, these realities strengthens us as people – even if we are absolutely terrified in the process. What we risk losing in dealing with a potentially fatal crisis is our own innocence and clarity. Now, what happens to a super-hero in the same situation?

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