Group supports men whose wives are battling cancer

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Alabaster resident Alton Doyle with his wife, Becky. (Contributed)

Alabaster resident Alton Doyle with his wife, Becky. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

When his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and was forced to undergo a double-mastectomy, Alabaster resident Alton Doyle’s life changed dramatically.

“It just totally changed our world,” Doyle said. “Seeing her go through that mastectomy, it was hard.”

Throughout the process, Doyle said he tried to support and comfort his wife every step of the way. But in doing so, Doyle said he eventually turned into “an emotional wreck.”

“Some of my wife’s friends would ask her ‘Are you sure he’s going to be OK?” Doyle said. “Sometimes she would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would be sitting there crying.

“As men, we are supposed to be strong and show no emotion,” Doyle added. “But we need to let that emotion out.”

The situation eventually led to Doyle being placed on “very strong” antidepressants, he said. But the ordeal gave Doyle an idea.

“I think it would be good for men who are going through this to have a place to call if they just need to talk,” Doyle said. “I want men to be able to pick up the phone and know there is someone there for them and that they are not the only one going through this.”

Doyle recently founded the Man up to Breast Cancer group, which he said is the first organization of its kind. The organization seeks to connect men whose wives are battling breast cancer, and seeks to help husbands better care for their wives throughout the process.

“I want us to share information we need to know to help our wives,” Doyle said. “Others are going through this. You are not alone.”

To learn more about the organization, visit or email Doyle at