April 18, 2016No Comments

#KnowYourBalls Survivor Story – Trey Velasco

"When I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer back in March 1989, I didn’t have an outlet to discuss what I was confronting. There wasn’t a support group or a nonprofit where I had an opportunity to listen, connect and contribute what I was enduring. On occasion, I would meet a fellow survivor who wished me well on the journey to recovery, albeit whispering or pulling me to the side. There was such a stigma of shame or embarrassment and only made me feel that more insecure about my diagnosis. It wasn’t until I was part of the TCF Speakers Bureau that I had a collective group of guys who had experienced what I went through, obviously some had endured much more than I had faced. TCF gave me the opportunity to personify the disease in a positive light vs feeling inadequate and alone. I met survivors who had expressed what I had felt all along but I never had the opportunity to examine those feelings up close and personal with other survivors. 

I am honored to be associated with brotherhood of TCF that broaches the subject that some people still feel awkward to discuss. It is my hope through my story, that I am able to connect with a family or young man and save a life or perhaps convey that this disease does not make any one person less of a boy or man."

-Trey Velasco

April 13, 2016No Comments

#KnowYourBalls Survivor Story – Cory Hentgen

During Testicular Cancer month, we're raising awareness to all males on how important it is to #KnowYourBalls. Starting today, we will be posting Survivor Stories from those who have beat Testicular Cancer on Mondays and Wednesdays for the rest of the month.

Below is a testimony from one of our Speakers Bureau members, Cory Hentgen. Read more about his Testicular Cancer journey and feel free to comment below!

"Hello. My name is Cory Hentgen and three years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I had a right orchiectomy and four weeks later three weeks of chemotherapy. I never chose to go through cancer but I knew all along that I wanted to use my journey to help others. I came across the Testicular Cancer Foundation and saw that they had a great program that educated others about the disease and the importance of early detection through monthly self exams. I was able to meet and be encouraged by other survivors in the Speakers Bureau. Now, I have the privilege of speaking with sophomore boys every semester on the importance of early detection of testicular cancer. If I just save one life, the journey is well worth it."

-Cory Hentgen

November 17, 2015No Comments

Ambassador Highlight – Mason

Meet Mason Moore from Oviedo, FL. Mason joined the Speakers Bureau in 2013 and has been a powerful resource for the organization ever since. He has done multiple speaking engagements on behalf of the organization, including three in the last two months. He also has three more in the pipeline, presenting to the Orange County Public Schools – one of the largest public school systems in the country. He is on an absolute tear, and we would like to thank him for all of his hard work and effort in pushing this cause, and creating much needed awareness about the disease.

 

Also, be sure to check out his story through our Faces of TC series:

 

Thanks Mason!

September 11, 2015No Comments

Connor O’Leary: The Final Chapters

Chapter 5

We were disappointed to say the least, but about 6 months after the accident, we got a call from CBS and they asked us if we would be interested in coming back for another season of the Amazing Race. We ended up back on the show almost a year from my dad’s injury and this time we had a little bit of a different outcome, we WON!

It was an incredible experience, and looking back, both my dad and I drew from our experience being cancer survivors. Going through hard things teaches you a lot about yourself, how far you can push the boundaries, and how to push on when things get tough.

 

Final Chapter

I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to race professionally, as well as win the Amazing Race, but I feel even more blessed to be able to say I am a cancer survivor. I have been able to share my story with numerous organizations, corporations, schools and religious groups all around the country. Coming on board with TCF is an incredible opportunity. Testicular Cancer is something I am passionate about. Since my diagnosis and treatment I have thought a lot about what I can do to fight TC, to help prevent young men from going through what I did, or at least be a resource for someone who was diagnosed - and Matt and the TCF team are one step ahead of me. To see that there is an organization like TCF, and to see the good they are doing is inspiring. I just feel blessed to be a part of it. I am looking forward to getting started and saving lives.

September 10, 2015No Comments

Connor O’Leary: Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 3

I am lucky to have had such a great support team through my cancer battle. My family was absolutely incredible and was there every step of the way. I really couldn’t have done it without them. My parents were at the hospital every single day, keeping track of my appointments, medications, etc. My sisters would bring meals, come play cards, and just be there to talk. They made the whole experience much better.

 

Chapter 4

I know this sounds cliché, but after my diagnosis and treatment, I realized how fragile life is. I really wanted to take advantage of every opportunity and one of those opportunities was the CBS Television Show, “The Amazing Race.” I have watched the Amazing Race since I was 15, and decided that I was going to apply. I decided that my best friend (my dad) was going to be my partner. We shot a quick 3-minute application video and sent it in. Honestly, we didn’t expect to hear back. But to make a long story short, we heard back and ultimately found out we had been chosen!

Unfortunately, our Amazing race experience was cut short, when on the second leg of the race my dad ruptured his Achilles tendon and tore his calf muscle. We pushed on, with my dad on crutches, but he needed to get home and have surgery. So on the 5th leg, we withdrew so my dad could get surgery.

September 9, 2015No Comments

Connor O’Leary: Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 1

My name is Connor O’Leary; I was born in Seattle and raised in Utah. I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Communications. I have a passion for everything outdoors, particularly cycling. I started cycling competitively at the age of 13 and worked my way up the cycling ladder, going from the USA Junior National team, to the u23 USA National Team, to ultimately riding for one of the best professional development cycling teams in the world, Bontrager LIVESTRONG. Cycling led to many opportunities and experiences and at the age of 19, I found myself living in Europe.

 

Chapter 2

Prior to heading off to live in Europe, I decided to go the doctor. I had a mass on my testicle that I wanted to make sure wasn’t an issue. So I went in, got checked out, and the doctor told me that I was fine. He told me to come back in a few years for another physical. I thought ‘Great’, and headed off to Europe. The season started out well but over time I had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I thought maybe it was the intense race schedule wearing me down. I was getting much more fatigued than normal and had some real discomfort. So ultimately, I decided to go back to a different doctor. I went in and the the last thing on Earth I was expecting to hear was, ‘You have Cancer’.

It was hard news to take. I quickly had surgery and not long after, started chemotherapy. During my second to last round of chemotherapy, I was rushed to the Emergency Room with blood clots that had exploded in both of my lungs. It almost killed me and created severe scar tissue buildup in my lungs. I spent almost 2 weeks in intensive care, while blood thinners ran through my veins trying to break down the clots. Hands down, it was one of the scariest weeks of my life. Eventually, I was released and able to finish my last few rounds of Chemotherapy.

After my treatment and blood clot scare, I started to work on rebuilding my fitness and stamina with the hope of getting back to the top of cycling. It was a long hard road, but through hard work, determination, and really a new outlook on life, I was able to successfully achieve my goal of returning to professional cycling!

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12600 Hill Country Blvd, Suite R-270 Austin, TX 78738 • info@tcancer.org • 855-390-8231

© 2017 Testicular Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit | Privacy Policy