We are so excited to introduce a community member, Stephen Heaviside, who has joined our Cactus Cancer Society Team. Stephen is not new to our community, and you may know him already! Whether you’ve yet to meet him or have hung out with Stephen before, there’s plenty to discover. Read on for more!
What’s your name and new role at Cactus Cancer Society? Where are you located? What’s your zodiac sign?
I’m Stephen Heaviside, I’m a testicular cancer survivor and AYA cancer advocate. I’m the new Program Coordinator with the Programming team. I’m in southern California. The OC. (Don’t call it that.) And I’m an Aquarius (“yeah, that tracks” says several people who know me already).
How did you first find Cactus Cancer Society?
I found CCS when it was still in its infancy as Lacuna Loft, by meeting Mallory at an AYA conference!
When you’re having a rough patch or feeling drained, what, who, or where helps you refuel?
I usually go for a walk with a podcast or audio book; try to write or play guitar to get out of my head a little; or listen to music.
Those who know you would probably note first and foremost that you’re a musician. What are your top five “Desert Island” albums and why?
Darkness on the Edge of Town – Bruce Springsteen
There’s a darkness sure, but when I’m feeling lost or brokenhearted, Bruce always fires me up with this one.
3 Feet High and Rising – De La Soul
I love an album that feels like you’re hanging out with some cool friends. Impossible to not be in a good mood if this is playing.
Women in Music Pt. III – HAIM
This is forever linked to the year of 2020 for me. Constant comfort in my headphones on a lot of reflective walks in the languid summer sun and fire season that year.
Sign O’ the Times – Prince
Is it my favorite Prince album? That’s tough, but this one has twice the number of songs as Dirty Mind and Purple Rain. So you’re literally getting twice the prime Prince.
World of Echo – Arthur Russell
A big one during my treatment. Russell was HIV-positive during the height of the AIDS crisis and diagnosed with throat cancer and he kept making music that he had no idea would ever be heard by anyone. His work echoes and still inspires people like me lying on hospital beds and couches with guitars and laptops.
If the Cactus Cancer Society team was a band, what would we be named and why?
Well, someone beat us to The Cactus Blossoms. So maybe we’ll sound very atmospheric and be Succulent Perennial? We’re resilient and here for the community year after year? (Great band names are so difficult to nail.)
What is your secret talent? It can be anything – a magic trick, always finding the best parking spot, or something else entirely.
I’m pretty good at doing/mimicking voices. This never really comes in handy for anything, other than making my niece and nephew laugh.
If you were to endorse and be the spokesperson for any product, what would it be?
Donut Friend, a very good vegan donut place in L.A. I agree with their core values and I assume I would get many free donuts.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Cactus Cancer Society?
Meeting even more people in the community and hopefully using my experience with the community to help make things even better!
Thank you, Stephen, for chatting with us! To learn more about our Staff, Board, and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Board, check out Our Team.