By Victoria Hansenvhansen@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- It's been a year since he was diagnosed with a disease most often associated with women. Raymond Johnson beat breast cancer. Now he wants to help others.
"I want to return the favor everyone else did for me," said Johnson.
Raymond was 26-years-old when he was first diagnosed in July 2011. He had little income and no health insurance. So he applied for a federal medicaid program for breast cancer patients, but was denied because he's not a woman. His story made national headlines and the State Department of Health and Human Services stepped in, providing financial assistance.
Raymond underwent chemotherapy, surgery and has been cancer free for six months. All that's left now are the hormone treatments he gets once a month.
"I'm trying to start a foundation that will help men with this test of life, cancer," said Johnson. "I want to help survivors and get information out to younger men and older men who have too much pride to get a check up."
Raymond got a pain in his chest that landed him in the emergency room. He readily admits, otherwise he may not have found out about his cancer until much later. That could have drastically changed his life.
"I spoke to a group at Colorado University earlier this year," said Johnson. "I've been invited to speak to others, mostly in October." October is breast cancer awareness month.
Raymond had to quit working when he was diagnosed. He's now looking for work again and says he believes he's close to landing a job.
In the meantime, he hasn't wasted a moment of his recovery. He's been working out regularly, at one point losing 25 pounds. Doctors say fatty breast tissue in men can increase their risk for breast cancer.
"I'm just trying to spread the word and give back."
If you would like to help Raymond Johnson with his plans to start a foundation to help men with cancer, contact us here at the station, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will put you in touch.