On his birthday in 2015, Tom Hulsey heard these dreaded words from his doctor, “you have cancer.” The diagnosis sent him into a tailspin. Having lost one of his best friends to prostate cancer the year before, he was ready to quit, to not even try to fight the disease. Why is this important? He is not a quitter, yet this bad news overwhelmed him. What changed? Loved ones and friends gave Tom ways and reasons to live. One reason was to be around to walk his daughter down the aisle. After completing his cancer recovery goals, including the IRONMAN® and walking his daughter down the aisle, Tom was confronted with another life-threatening issue.
Seven months after crossing the finish line at arguably the most difficult single day athletic endurance event known to man, the IRONMAN® World Championship, Tom went to his cardiologist complaining of pain in his shoulder. The cardiologist completely dismissed Tom’s concerns. Not satisfied, Tom sought a second opinion and was subsequently diagnosed with clinically severe coronary artery disease. Two stents were implanted and subsequently three more (while on the operating table, he had a myocardial infarction). Moral of the story; seek a second opinion if you sense something is wrong – be proactive with your health! Life threw Tom another curveball in 2021. He was diagnosed with severe carotid artery stenosis and subsequently had a life-saving carotid endarterectomy.
Three life-threatening illnesses have given Tom a wonderful perspective on life and a purpose. As both a survivor and advocate, he is passionate about utilizing his lived experiences to fuel positive changes and impact the health of our world. He has dedicated his life to helping and inspiring others facing life-threatening and life-altering obstacles.
Tom was the recipient of the 2019 Lauren Beam Philanthropy Award at the New York University School of Professional Studies and the Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport for his “dedication and contributions toward philanthropic efforts that resulted in significant, positive effects on the world of sports and beyond.”
He serves on the boards at ZERO Prostate Cancer and Mary Crowley Cancer Research and is a research advocate & Patient and Family Advisory Council member at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Tom is a board member and the past president of the North Texas Prostate Cancer Coalition and served as a peer reviewer & mentor multiple times for the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) – “transforming healthcare through innovative and impactful research.”
He is a 2-time author; detailing his journey, how mindset was key, and lessons learned. All book sales are being donated to philanthropic organizations making a positive impact on humankind.
Tom is a graduate of the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee and had a decades long career in technology / cyber security / physical security. He is a graduate of the FBI Citizens’ Academy, Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Citizen Prosecutor’s Academy, Texas Department of Public Safety Citizen’s Police Academy, Plano Citizen’s Police Academy, and member of the Plano Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
He is also an 11-time IRONMAN® (personally sponsored by Subaru) and 6-time Mountainman Winter Triathlon finisher (personally sponsored by NordicTrack) and was a professional hockey instructor in the Dallas Stars organization.
Tom lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Lauren. They have two married children and four grandchildren.
Making a Difference
What Others are Saying
Tom is inspirational, choosing to apply his tremendous experience as a business executive and athlete to his own journey with cancer, as well as helping others. His example of discipline, informed decision-making, and advocacy are applicable to anyone dealing with adversity, not just cancer survivors.
Adversity doesn’t necessarily build character, it exposes one’s character and Tom Hulsey’s outstanding character and sheer determination was and continues to be on display throughout his journey fighting cancer. He is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others who are faced with the challenges of life.
This challenge (cancer) have only made him more resilient, determined, and willing to look outside of himself to help others. Tom cannot and will not be stopped on the path to personal victory. The path he has chosen is one that puts all others before himself in order to achieve his definition of success
Tom’s story is one of great loss, resilience and ultimately perseverance. He turned his battle with prostate cancer into a teachable moment for not only cancer survivors, but for anyone facing adversity in life. His advocacy and spirit have touched many lives.
As a prostate cancer medical oncologist, Tom’s compelling story and approach to problem solving is likely to be of significant interest to many of my patients. This coupled with his donation of the net profits from his book to provide funding for prostate cancer research is a win-win for all.
Tom’s personal drive and focus is exemplified in his completion of multiple Ironman triathlons. And he epitomizes servant leadership; puts it out there for others without expectations for himself
Tom is a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful mentor for other men. His book will prove a valuable tool to men and their families, whether they are battling prostate cancer, at risk for the disease, or just looking to make a positive change. Tom’s mindset has always been positive, and not only is he a steadfast athlete and dedicated member of the ZERO family, he’s a valuable advocate with pro-active healthcare and lifestyle advice for men.
I believe God places people on this Earth to not only learn but to teach others. I am sure that Tom was placed to teach cancer survivors what it means to survive and thrive when you get a cancer diagnosis. Every week Tom volunteers his time to help me motivate and coach survivors to be healthy and strong. I am so honored to get to work along side such an authentic, motivated, strong and amazing man.
Everyone responds to tragedy differently. Some give up, some curse God, and some amaze us with their God given resilience. Not everyone is tested like Tom. But for those who are, here is a real-life example of how to turn disaster into success
Tom’s bright outlook has always amazed me. His ability to handle family, work, and sport is truly an art an Tom was exceptional at this task. With life comes changes, Tom had to work with his Mom and Dad though their challenges, and then with own – cancer. All the time having a positive outlook! His motto resonates, “Life Is Not A Spectator Sport!” Enjoy his wisdom