Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-05
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Movember takes personal turn for Tommy Holl
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Tommy Holl is sporting his Movember mustache for the fourth consecutive year—but never for a more personal reason.

Movember is the annual month-long event that encourages men to grow mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers—and it coincides with Holl's personal battle with cancer.

The Holl story actually starts 12 years ago, when a student at Hinsdale Central High School, playing for the school's lacrosse club. Holl took his glove off one day and noticed a bump on his left pinky finger. "It didn't hurt and I didn't think anything of it [at the time]. It didn't concern me at all, and I let it go for the longest time," he said.

But then earlier this year, as he had done in the past, he was picking at it. This time, though, he made it worse and when his mom saw it, she insisted that he get it checked out.

Holl went to a surgeon in Downers Grove, who removed it and had a biopsy processed of the remains.

Holl soon was told it was cancer.

"It didn't sink in right away because I was thinking, the cancer is what [the doctor] removed. I thought, I was fine," he said.

Holl returned to the doctor a few days later with his parents and was referred to a specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

"I didn't think this would be anything," he said.

But, on Oct. 21, doctors told Holl that it is "serious and rare" and that they wanted to remove his whole finger. "I was in shock," he said.

Holl's medical team also discussed chemotherapy and radiation treatment. "That's when it really got real; that's when I lost it," Holl said. "I never thought cancer, chemotherapy or radiation were going to be a part of my life, especially when so young."

Holl, 30, grew up in Clarendon Hills and now lives in suburban Willowbrook. He works in TV media production.

Holl got a second opinion and doctors were discussing removing his whole finger. Holl admittedly was in "pinky survivor mode" to do whatever he could.

Holl, on Nov. 7, had cancer surgery at Rush University Medical Center—and half his finger was removed.

"Everything was happening in such a short period of time. It's been overwhelming and stressful," Holl said. "But I am now thrilled to say, as the doctor told me, I definitely am cancer-free. I have a clean bill of health."

He soon will be getting the stitches and bandage removed. His next checkup then is in three months.

"It's been a whirlwind over the past six weeks," said Holl, who is single and openly gay. "Everyone has been so awesome, so supportive.

"It looked like nothing [for years], but ended up being something. It really makes you think about life, though I still feel like it's out of a movie, and someone is soon going to yell, 'Cut!'

"But I know … this could have taken my life," he added, teary eyed.

Holl has received an outpouring of support, with calls, texts and social media messages from literally around the world.

"Awareness is so important because you never know where that support and comfort is going to come from," said Holl, who also this fall aligned with Imerman Angels, which provides personalized one-on-one support for cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

"In the past, I've participated in Movember because it's fun, is helping other people and is a great cause. Now, it's a personal mission; I really want to spread awareness as much as possible. You never think cancer is going to be part of your vocabulary, personally. But it can be."

Holl is hoping to raise at least $1,000 for Movember.

Donations to Holl's Movember fundraising campaign can be made at .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SWZLE, part of the reusable straw revolution 2018-12-05 - Reusable straws have become a central focus in helping to preserve the environment—so much so that banning plastic straws was an issue on ...

Gay News

10 Questions by Vic: Greg Louganis 2018-12-04 - Greg Louganis is the greatest diver in history. In the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Louganis achieved gold medals in both the ...

Gay News

IN THE LIFE A look at i2i's core leadership team 2018-11-28 - Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago ( i2i ) has seen many changes to its leadership team since its founding ...

Gay News

DRAG IT UP Show Listings and Drag Profile of the Week, Discord 2018-10-24 - NAME Discord AGE "Discord has been around for centuries. Chaos is everywhere." HOMETOWN Akron, Ohio. "I began drag roughly 7 years ago! The ...

Gay News

First out gay male Chicago police officer on family, career, volunteering 2018-10-17 - Retired Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) officer Ronald Bogan saw it all during his three decades on the force. This includes a ...

Gay News

Lesbian Erasure, Defining Lesbianism Part One 2018-10-16 - [Author's note: for the purposes of space, except for brief references, this article focuses on lesbian couplings in the U.S.] Lesbians exist. ...

Gay News

IN THE LIFE Lizzy Wolferman 2018-09-27 - Everyone's life is a journey. However, with Liz Wolferman—the front-of-house manager of the acclaimed local restaurant Mott St.—it's been a literal journey that's ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Adam Rippon skates into success 2018-09-26 - Figure skater Adam Rippon won a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics, making history by becoming the first openly gay U.S. athlete ...

Gay News

Drag It Up Show Listings and Drag Profile of the Week Bambi Banks 2018-09-19 - NAME Bamb Banks AGE 24 HOMETOWN Houston, Texas. DRAG INSPIRATION "Black women are my inspirations." FAVORITE NUMBER "Unlock It" by Kim ...

Gay News

Chicagoan raises money and pride walking to fight HIV/AIDS 2018-09-19 - Christopher Pazdernik was filled with fear and shame that day in 2009 when he learned he is HIV-positive. "I was so embarrassed and ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.