The Husband's Point of View: "Going Down That Road"
As executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bridgeport, Ken Bruno is a take-charge guy. But when his wife, Sandra, developed breast cancer, he knew that his would be a supporting role. As overwhelming as his own emotions were; as much as he wished he could take on his wife's pain and fear himself, he understood: "It's not about me—it's not about our kids (Ken Junior, age 29; Tami, 27; and Jill, 23). It's about Sandy. Our whole family was involved—but our job was to support Sandy."
And that was what they did. Sandra never went to a procedure or an appointment or faced a decision without one or two family members at her side.
One day Sandra came home to find Tami's suitcases in her old bedroom. "I wanted to come back to help you out," was Tami's explanation of why she was coming back home. "That meant so much to me," Sandra says. When Sandra lost her hair during chemo, Ken and Ken Jr. thought about shaving their heads as a gesture of solidarity. But they decided that for them, that wasn't the way to go. "Again, it's not about us—it's about Sandy," Ken repeats.
Each family responds differently to the challenge of breast cancer. Ken Bruno's message is that it's important to support the woman you love in whatever way makes her feel most supported. For the Brunos, it was being there.
"To know a road, you have to go down it," says Ken. "When Sandy got breast cancer, we all went down the road with her. All of us have a better appreciation of Sandy's strength and spirit. I'm proud of her, and of our whole family."