We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Delpleache and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mike, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
In 2001 I was diagnosed with Leukemia and told that I had a week to live. The first thing out my mouth was; “It’s Just a Cold”. I was married with two small boys at the time and had to immediately leave NC to head back to NYC for treatment. September 11, 2001, yes 9/11 was the day I started my chemotherapy treatments. Actually in Manhattan right down the block from the World Trade Centers. The treatments last for one year and the results scared me. Side effect after side effect and things were getting worse as time progressed with very little answers outside of more damn medicine. I remember having complications with the Chemo and it caused serious stomach problems. I could not eat ANYTHING (Doctors Order) for 3 weeks. My weight dropped down to as low as 112 lbs. A group of doctor’s came in one day and said I was not healing and they need to arrange for a colostomy bag…. I looked up at the group and stated ” give me one more day.” Next day I requested an X ray / Scan and they noticed that I was healing. This happened on more than one occasion. The one that triggered my “Difficult Decision” was the pain medication. My experience with Cancer was a painful one. At one point I was hooked to a morphine machine and when that stopped working on to the next and the next, etc. I asked my doc how do I come off and in a nutshell he said “You don’t”! He then wrote me prescriptions slightly lower strength and said- “Whatever you do, just don’t stop cold turkey, we will slowly ween you off” This was where my difficult decision was raised. Do I leave tradition medicine and all I have been taught and seek another way to heal? I then made the decision that I was dropping Western Medicine completely for a more Holistic approach. #20Yrs

What should our readers know about your business?
The purpose for creating Art of Depression (AOD) was to address the disparities of mental health within communities of people of color. The idea was to create a safe haven for Black Men to be self expressive and heal. This was definitely not easy getting Black men to acknowledge and receive this type of openness. In order to overcome this challenge I had to become the change that I wanted to see. The more I became open and expressive with my own story, the more comfortable it made the other Kings trust the movement. AOD’s objective is helping to realign oneself with purpose and truth, fight the stigma of mental health and aid in correcting generational curses. Find Your Truth & Define Who You Are!!!!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not really the ‘out in the city” type and my friends know that. When they call me to come in town they are normally checking to see what “Give Back” event we are running and how can they volunteer. Nothing more exciting than helping those in need followed by some Good Caribbean Food, LOL! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my boys- They are the driving force behind who I have become. I thank them for loving me REGARDLESS! #Delpboyz

Website: www.AODVillage.com

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Youtube: @TygerEyez360MediaGroup

Other: @Mr_IfMyLifeWasAVerse – IG

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