Paul Weigel describes how love for his daughter helped him battle cancer in Episode 060

Today, I am interviewing a 54-year-old man who is a very devoted father to his teenage daughter. However, that relationship was challenged first by him contracting colorectal cancer, then by divorce. Yet, through it all, his passion and purpose remains being the best dad he can be, and encouraging other fathers to see the extraordinary value in raising children.

Paul Weigelwas diagnosed with colorectal cancer when he was 43 years old after doctors discovered a fist-sized tumor in his colon. It was a frightening experience for him because his daughter, Natalie, was only 3 years old at the time.

Not only did he want to watch her grow into the successful young women he knew she’d become, Paul knew that growing up without a father could derail Natalie’s life in ways she was too young to understand.

Paul knew that colorectal cancer was the No. 1 cause of death for men, and the No. 2 cause of death for women with cancer. In fact, one in 20 people will contend with colon cancer in their lifetimes.

Even though he did not lead a healthy and active lifestyle, getting cancer was still a big wake-up call for Paul. Faced with the prospect of dying at a young age, the experience showed him how important fatherhood is not only to Paul, but to Natalie as well.

The experience taught Paul several important lessons. First, people must take ownership of their healthcare and have tough conversations with their doctors. When patients feel something isn’t right in their bodies, they must demand their doctors investigate the problem. And if a doctor won’t take the action you think he or she should take, then get a second opinion.

A second lesson was to pay attention to diet. Although he loves pizza, Paul can’t have it anymore and even his daughter holds him accountable to that. But, after having 14 inches of his colon removed, nor can Paul have foods high in fiber any more, like salad and broccoli.

The third lesson was to not allow a career to distract you from what’s really important – your family. Paul had a great job leading internal communications for some mega corporations. But, after he was diagnosed, Paul shifted into consulting jobs so he could be more active and present in his daughter’s life.

Finally, Paul learned the true value of being active. Six months after completing chemotherapy, he participated in an Ironman triathlon, which involves swimming for 2.4 miles, then biking 112 miles before running a full 26.2-mile marathon.

Paul wanted to share his life-changing story with others, so he wrote a book titled “Iron Dad: A Cancer Survivor’s Story of Discovering Strength, Life, and Love Through Fatherhood.”

Although the book talks about his struggle to overcome cancer, Paul said it’s more of a love story about a father’s commitment to his daughter and the incredible bond they share. His book is available on Amazon and in other bookstores.

Paul also started a podcast this year called Gut Checks, where he interviews people who have found a way to dig deep and do something amazing.  He has also started doing public speaking.

People can connect with Paul by visiting or looking for him on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

That’s all I have for this week’s show. If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit

I’ll have another inspirational interview on the next episode of the Forward From 50 podcast. Thanks for listening. If you like this show, please consider leaving a review wherever you download the episodes.