In August 2001, Marc Silver, an editor at National Geographic Magazine, picked up his office phone to hear the shocking news that his wife, Marsha, had breast cancer. “Everything is fine, and then your wife ends up with a [breast cancer] diagnosis and you’re thrown into this whole new world without warning,” says Marc.

Silver was unprepared, and it showed. “She called for support and husbandly love, and I said, ‘Ew, that doesn’t sound good,’” he says. He then hung up and continued to work. “Now I think that it was easier to stay at work where I knew what I was doing than to go home where I didn’t know anything.”

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