April is #TesticularCancerAwareness month!
We are paying tribute to all those who have been affected by this deadly but curable #disease. We are sharing survivor stories with the MILLIONS of people that need to hear our message.
Tyler Austin, Yankee first baseman and testicular cancer survivor, is beginning to speak out about testicular cancer. In February of this year, this personable young man spoke to a crowd of almost 1000 people in Connecticut and was very well received. Tyler was diagnosed with TC at 17 years of age, had surgery to remove the tumor and is now in good health. He did not need chemotherapy because he found his tumor early and it did not spread to other parts of his body. Tyler knows first hand that with early detection Testicular Cancer is curable.
Tyler Austin, now 25, was selected by the NY Yankees in the 2010 MLB draft. He was a highly regarded prospect for bringing young talent to the Yankees. However, due to a number of injuries over the years, it was 2016 before he was brought to the majors. However, what a debut! On August 13, 2016 in his first at bat, Tyler hit a two run homer. Unfortunately, another injury sidelined him for 6 weeks this season. However, we look forward to Tyler Austin's return to Yankee Stadium in the 2017 season. And the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation is thrilled to have Tyler join us in the fight for Testicular Cancer Awareness - for early detection of TC is indeed the cure.
Tyler was interviewed in the video above by Marc Topkin, award winning sports reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and lifelong friend of Sean Kimerling and the Kimerling family.
“The biopsy came back and confirmed it is testicular cancer. After your CT scan, we’ll know what comes next.”
I heard these words in a voicemail from my urologist in November 2016, just five days after an orchiectomy, a surgery to remove my left testicle. They would change the course of my life for the next few months.
Prior to October 2016, I was your typical 25-year-old guy. I enjoyed spending time with my fiancée and pets, traveling to present at educational technology conferences, reading a good book in my hammock, or lounging and watching the latest Avengers movie.
All of that changed on October 8th. I was taking a shower and decided to do a self-check of my testicles. My general practitioner recommended doing them every few weeks, which I did when I remembered. Even though I was doing them regularly, I knew the routine for self-checks. They’re pretty easy: just place your index and middle fingers under the testicle with your thumb on top. Firmly but gently, roll the testicle between your fingers. Any weird lumps or bumps should be checked out by a doctor. I knew the drill.
As I checked myself in the shower, I definitely felt a solid lump on my left testicle. For lack of a better way to describe it, think of a jellyfish wrapped around a rock (or, for you sci-fi fans, a face-hugger alien).
After consulting with a doctor, I was sent to get an ultrasound. After the ultrasound was done, the tech told me there was indeed a solid mass in there, and that meant either inflammation or cancer. She urged me to call my doctor to discuss results and said they would have analysis of the CT scan by the end of the work day.
I never got a chance to call my doctor because, around lunch time, she called me. Obviously, getting a call that quickly after the scan did not bode well in my mind. I was told to call a local urologist to schedule an appointment for further consultation. To read more of Justin's story click here.
My name is Thomas Cantley and over the past 2 years I have focused my efforts on pushing a giant inflatable testicle across 2 countries and over 8,000 miles to raise awareness for a growing disease in young men. Yes, you heard that right, a giant NUT. For those of you who don't know me, I am also known as Mr. Ballsy and am a 5 years out stage 3 Testicular Cancer survivor. My efforts in this amazing journey has made me recognized globally and quoted as one of the most outspoken voices in Testicular Cancer awareness in the world. I have gained hundreds of hours of media coverage for this worthy cause. But, being ballsy is more than just cancer, it's a lifestyle.
My story did not start with cancer. I had a rough past (starting from childhood and into adulthood) that lead me down the darkest of alleys. I was well known professionally and socially in the New York City scene which brought it's own troubles. Cancer woke me the f*** up and saved my life.
With everything I have faced in my life, I have managed to turn all of my negatives into a positive. And what I'm most proud of, is helping others by using my life as a tool to teach people what not to do. I now travel the world entertaining, educating, and inspiring. My goal is to bring out that inner ballsy in everyone in all walks of life and in all parts of the world.
I currently am in post production with my feature film mr ballsy.
Once cancer comes into your family and you have to face it alongside a loved one, your perspective in life tends to change—at least I know it did for me when my brother, Michael, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. At the time of Michael’s diagnosis, we were both still in college at Regis University; he was a senior and I was a junior. I found myself at school just going through the motions; the faculty and my classmates were very supportive, but as time went on, I found my priorities changing. I was no longer worrying about what grade I got on that advertising project. Instead I was wondering, is Michael going to want to get outside today?
Michael and I have been best friends since I was born, but after his diagnosis and procedures were behind him, he started falling into an emotional hole and it became harder and harder to pull him out of it. All I kept thinking was, how can I help? Can I help at all? I couldn’t pay for appointments, surgeries, treatments, and medications; my parents were taking care of that financial burden. But I could help by trying to make Michael smile, if only for a moment a day, so that’s what I did. I started working more bartending and serving shifts at Red Robin so I could pay for Michael and me to go to a movie or sporting event, or sometimes just buy a six-pack of beer to enjoy at home while I did ridiculous things to get that brief smile.
Michael is doing well today, with a successful job and a positive outlook on where he is in life. Why do I share this story? Without having gone through these experiences with Michael, I would not be where I am today. To read more of Colin's story click here
My story started back in 2016 (around March). I was fitter than I have ever been. I was in training for my first ever powerlifting competition and had managed to get into great shape. My diet was better than ever and my fitness was through the roof. About 8 weeks before my competition I was suffering from lower back pain. Having had kidney stones and problems with my lower back previously I thought nothing of it. As the weeks progressed the pain began to become increasingly worse. I started to put the pain down to over training and again thought nothing more of it. As the weeks past it became almost impossible for me to do a simple bodyweight pull up due to the pain. I mentioned this to my friend / trainer who tried to convince me to get it looked at. I shrugged this off and said it would be fine and again continued in ignorance. The weeks past and the pain started to radiate into my groin and become extremely sensitive in my scrotum. This came and went over several days so again thought nothing of it and no assumed it was just radiating pain from my back. I mentioned this again to my friend and also to my wife. Both were adamant I get it checked out. Again I ignored their advice. About 2 weeks later my right testicle became solid in texture and had grown about 3 times the size of my left testicle. I didn't mention this to anyone and went on as normal, embarrassed to say anything. About a week later I was in complete agony and unable to even was myself due to the pain. My friend and wife pleaded with me to get this checked out so I decided to eventually listen to their advice and went to the gp. My Dr checked me over and advised it was more than likely a cyst on my testicle however booked me in for an emergency ultrasound. I was rushed in for the ultrasound 2 days later. When I received the ultrasound they confirmed my testicle was enlarged, had a hard lump which was not by nature the same as a cyst and that the texture of my testicle was different to that of my left one. They eluded to the fact this was cancer but were unable to confirm this without the specialist. A day later I received a call from my gp who was sending me to see a specialist to receive my results and also eluded to the fact i had cancer but would not confirm either way. On seeing the specialist they confirmed they believed it was cancer, however could not confirm until a biopsy was carried our on the testicle post surgery. I was booked in for emergency surgery 2 days later. Once surgery was complete the the biopsy results came back positive for testicular cancer and my tumour markers were still raised. I was given the option of a course of chemo therapy and was advised it was he best course of action. I agreed and treatment started soon after. After my first course of chemo my markers raised higher and I was therefore put on a longer course of chemo and at double the strength. Happy to say after 5 months of chemotherapy I am now cancer free and continue to be monitored via blood tests and CT scans every 3 months. The treatment and care I received and continue to receive has been unbelievable. The support was overwhelming. I decided to share my story via social media. This was not an easy decision to make and I did not do this for sympathy but to raise awareness and to spread the message. I was 35 at the time of diagnosis so I was in the older age range for this type of cancer. I am happy to report that in doing so, most of my male friends have been self checking ever since and several have even been checked over via Dr's. This has made me feel positive about my choice to share my story. Having cancer has changed me for the better. It has made me a more positive person with a better appreciation for life, people around me and the care we receive from the NHS, friends, family and even strangers. I encourage everyone to get checked and share their stories and hope that one day cancer as a disease can be cured altogether.
A week before my prom, I was watching television and had a simple itch. That itch ended up being the most important itch of my entire life. I noticed something hard; something I hadn’t noticed before. I went to the doctors a few days later and he said the words I never thought I would hear; “YOU HAVE CANCER.” When the doctor said those words, my world stopped. The only thing I could think of is what my future would be like.
After having multiple scans, such as ultrasounds, CAT scans, and X-rays, I found out that I needed to have surgery. I never had surgery before and I was terrified.
Once having my surgery, I thought that everything would be fine, but after further scans and tests, there was still cancer present. I needed to have nine weeks of chemotherapy. This was the most difficult part because it resulted in having multiple IV injections each day, going to the doctors more than one should, and needing to watch every action I made because of my weakened immune system. Aside from all the negativities though, I was able to meet amazing people who are some of the strongest people I know. I finished chemo two days before Thanksgiving of that year.
Within five months, I was running my first 5K. The route went past the hospital where I received my surgery as well as the building where I received my chemo. To me it was a way of saying, “I won cancer, not you!”
I learned so much from my cancer journey and am now trying to help others by telling my story.
About a week after I was diagnosed, I created my fundraiser called STAMP OUT CANCER Now! My Testicular Cancer awareness website is www.stampoutcancernow.com. I have a Words of Encouragement page, a Cancer Awareness Blog, and an Around the Globe page. I also have an online store where I sell my squished pennies and wristbands which benefit the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Testicular Cancer Foundation.
I've also been telling my story to as many people as possible through television interviews, magazine and newspaper articles, awareness tables at events, and speeches. It's important for males who are between the ages of 15-34 to perform monthly Testicular self-exams. I am trying to spread that message out to as many people as I can.
Remember TWO Check!
I look forward to watching my daughter and son, Autumn Olivia and Grayson Cole grow and give them all that I can. I look forward to a healthy life. I look forward to helping others get through their difficult time. I love the opportunity that the Sean Kimerling Foundation has given by by allowing me to help spread awareness and be a positive influence in others lives. Life is good and hope is real. Positivity from my wife and support from the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation helped me to remain strong and hopeful…There is hope. There are positive outcomes and happiness ahead!
Fighting cancer can be a harrowing experience for anyone. In 1995, Brian Kemper discovered a lump on his right testicle during his first year of law school. After being diagnosed with testicular cancer, Kemper had surgery and went through four sessions of chemotherapy. Thanks to the early discovery of the tumor, his treatments and the help of his friends, he was able to survive and later went on to become an attorney in NYC.. Twenty years later, still free of cancer, Kemper self-published a novel based upon his experiences fighting cancer and his years as an associate attorney at a large New York City law firm. The book, Everything Can Change, is set in NYC in 2003 and tells the story of Jack Ritter, a twenty-eight year old attorney who discovers he has testicular cancer. “When I went through my cancer fight,” said Kemper, “there were two reasons I made my way through it: I found the tumor early and I had the support of my family and friends. I wrote the book in part to help spread awareness of testicular cancer and to thank my support system for what they did for me.” The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format and ten percent of the proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation.
An unexpected journey, many of us young adults believe that we won't get cancer because we're young and healthy. Well that's not always the case. August 2015 the month I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, at age 18, two months after graduating High school. I was getting really bad pain in my testicles that i had to make a Dr's appointment. When I went to visit my Dr she did her exams, blood work, etc. Nothing appeared to be wrong. A month later while I was on vacation the same pain hit me so I checked my testicles the way my Dr did and I felt something strange, lumps on my right testicle. Right away I made another visit to my Dr, she again examined me and gained felt what I had felt, by the look on her face I knew something was wrong. She then sent me to get an ultrasound, I had three small tumors on my right testicle. The following week I went to see a urologist who confirmed it was testicular cancer, when you hear the word cancer the number one thing that comes up in your head is Death. Luckily Testicular Cancer is the most curable cancers there is when detected early. I was diagnosed with stage 1. After seeing the urologist he told me I had to have surgery to remove my right testicle before the cancer spreads. Scary to think that I was going into surgery to have not only tumors removed but my testicle! The surgery was a success only took about an hour or so. Following the surgery I had to visit urologist again for a check up and blood work. He then gave me the news I never wanted to hear, your tumor markers are high meaning you must go through chemotherapy. I was in disbelief I didn't want to go through all that since I knew what chemo did to the body. Since I did not have health insurance it made the process a lot harder.
It took me three months before getting insured, due to those three months of waiting the cancer ended up spreading to my abdomen lymph nodes which were painfull. I visit two oncologist before beginning my chemo, a second opinion is always good. I finally made my decision of having my treatments done in Albuquerque NM , roughly 3 hours from home. December 7, 2015 first day of a three cycle BEP chemotherapy . During the first cycle everything was going good, I still had strength and energy. After the second cycle everything went down hill. Noticing my hair falling off is when it really hit me like wow I'm actually fighting cancer. By the third cycle I had no energy couldn't eat, throwing up and sleep is all I would do. February 2, 2016 the last day of chemo. After finishing chemotherapy I had a follow-up with my oncologist for a CT scan. In my mind I was happy to have finished treatment and get back to my life and start college but cancer wasn't done yet. The CT showed that my lymph nodes were still enlarged out of the normall. This meant RPLND surgery. More words I didn't want to hear since I knew there was a chance of this surgery. It was late April 2016, the time for the surgery had come. It was with a new urologist who was going to perform the surgery, she did a fantastic job of taking taking care of me. The surgery was a success only took four hours, she removed thirteen lymph nodes. Recovering was the toughest part since I had 37 stables going down my belly. I was not allowed to eat or drink anything for three days, spent a week in the recovering room. Physical therapy was intense. Took roughly three weeks of having stables down my belly. It was time to go back for results and have them removed. May 2016, went to get stables removed and get results if I was cancer free yet or not. All thirteen lymph nodes removed were simply scar tissue meaning there was no cancer remaining in my body!! The best news anyone fighting cancer can receive. Even though I am cancer free I see my oncologist every three months for blood work and scans. I will be seeing him for the next five years of my life. The unexpected journey is not over, going through chemo mad my body weak and with hardly any energy, this is still a fight day by day. It is important that we know Testicular Cancer exists, self examination and early detection is the key to winning the battle!
After avoiding the Doctor at all costs, my wife finally convinced me that it was imperative that I have a physical….and thank God I did. Following a whirlwind of appointments, I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. Because I got “them” checked, I caught the Cancer early enough that I am Cancer Free and going strong today. I’m a part of The Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer foundation because it shares the message that I feel strongest about…Awareness, Answers, Action.
If by reading this you can just get one of your friends, coworkers, enemies, family members, even a stranger - whomever to just go to that ever avoiding doctors appointment I will have done my job. The job to continue to raise awareness, the job to continue to seek answers and cures, and the most important job of them all...for YOU to take action - action for yourself or action for others. Because like the foundation so truly preaches - TC is 99% curable if caught early enough”...so why even take that chance? I didn't and I am writing this to you today because of that. So...just go - if not for yourself, than for me.
On October 13 I celebrated my ten year anniversary of remission from testicular cancer. I first went in to get checked because my co-worker, behind me in a cubicle, was talking about Sean Kimerling and what had happened to him. I went and got checked the next day. It turned out I had stage 3 non-seminoma, and three surgeries and a few months of chemotherapy later, I would live to tell about it. So, before there was even a foundation, Sean's story saved my life. I owe him ten years of growth, of love, of family and friends, of travel and experiences and of being alive: I'm grateful.
Tara M. Algerio-Vento, FNP-BC, SNT Family Nurse Practitioner & School Nurse Teacher, Rockville Centre Union Free School District
Brian Harrington shared his personal battle with testicular cancer and truly brought awareness to each student in an educational and special way.” He eloquently stressed the importance of self-checks and honed in on the message that testicular cancer can affect them despite being young and feeling invincible.
In May 2012, I was a very healthy 18-year-old and in my senior year of high school. I already applied to colleges and was excited to attend my senior prom.
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