(WOIO) - Lee Giller was stunned by the diagnosis.
"It was like being hit by lightning."
Breast cancer in men is rare, about 1% percent of all cases diagnosed.
Once over the shock, Giller began the fight for his life, and the hardest part was watching his family cope.
"You can do something about it. Fight it everyday, take your meds, the chemo, the whole thing. But they're watching helplessly, that bothers you."
Now Giller is a seven-year survivor, and a Northeast Ohio Komen Board Member. He also quickly realized that his rare diagnosis was a way to further Komen's cause.
"The uniqueness of it surprises people, shocks people. And once you get over that, then it's a great opener for a conversations."
Giller's diagnosis changed his life, and had an extraordinary effect on his wife, Kathy. Behind Kathy's lead, the Giller family raised a quarter million dollars for Komen. Kathy was honored as the co-survivor of the year in 2011.
They participated in 15 Komen races, and then this family who had done so much was faced with the unthinkable their daughter, 29-year-old Pamela, was diagnosed.
"If not for Lee's diagnosis, our daughter would probably not be as fortunate as she is," Kathy said. "She knew she was at very high risk."
Early detection saved their daughter, and now it remains the Giller's mission to save others.