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Jonny Imerman, Founder, Imerman Angels & Testicular Cancer Survivor: Anyone diagnosed with testicular cancer… I’ll even back up- the people who are at risk and don’t know they’re at risk, what they should know is that an enlargement of one testicle versus the other one and often times a very hard testicle where tumors are dense. So if a testicle is bigger or it’s really harder versus the other one, that disparity or a bump on the testicle should cue someone off. Go to a urologist, and not an ER doctor, not a you know, general internist – go to a specialist, a urologist, who sees from here to here every day and can say, you know, this is cancer. You know and maybe it won’t be, hopefully it’s not but if it is, time is everything and that’s how we’re going to save more lives.

People need to understand that if you don’t go in and you wait a year you may not have options. Every day that goes on with cancer, you lose another option and you lose time and you have more weapons to fight this with if people go in earlier. But when someone does get diagnosed, the first thing you want to tell them and you want them to know is that people do beat this cancer and you can not only beat it, you can crush it, you can come back, you can run marathons. You know, I’m not fast, in fact I’m very slow, but I run every year in the Chicago marathon with about 120 other runners, many of them survivors and we’re all survivors. We can run marathons, we can play football, we can play basketball, we can go to the gym, we look normal, we feel normal.

It takes a little patience to get your life back in order. That’s probably a key thing too that these testicular cancer survivors need to know is that you know, after you’ve beat it you don’t always snap into life immediately. We call it the refraction period, where it’s that period where you know, picture a ray of light – which is you – hits this object – cancer – and instead of being in that same straight line, you really refract it. You’re sort of going off in a little bit different direction because of who you are now in this group of people that you never thought you’d be in that you find yourself in but you can have… that refracting, refraction is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact, in many ways I think it’s a wonderful thing and you know, I think my life is ten times better. We want to keep these young testicular survivors focused on the finish line. You can get there and you can win your life back and you can find a way to raise a family and be with someone and date again or be married and happy. There’s a lot of positive, positive stuff.

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