This is an essay submission for the essay contest here at Mom Biz Coach. Accepting submissions until Friday, Sept 2.
Submitted by: Dmitry Dragilev www.tcafinfo.org
21 months ago I launched my website for Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.
Supporting and educating families about the leading cancer in young men 15-35. Every hour a male is diagnosed and every day another life lost due to lack of awareness. I soon began receiving emails throughout the United States and other countries as well thanking me for putting a voice to this cancer.
October 26, 2007, I was a mother, a wife, and a mortgage banker. On that day, however, my life was changed in immeasurable ways. That was the day my son’s battle with cancer began. Everything I had done up to that point in my life, no longer mattered. The only job that mattered was being a mother and watching my son fight for his life. 2 weeks before his 14th birthday he was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer. 3 months into treatment we were told to get a second opinion. Tumors were spreading and growing throughout his body, wrapped around his kidneys, aorta, and thoracic duct and starting to cut off his airway and tumors in both lungs. A second opinion of inoperable was more than devastating! How could a healthy football player be diagnosed with cancer at such a young age? I watched him go through life threatening surgeries, many cycles of chemotherapy, and hours of pain and suffering. Nothing I had done prior to this could have prepared me for the two years that followed the initial diagnosis. Since that time, I wondered why I (along with countless others) was unaware that testicular cancer was such a common diagnosis in young men 15-35. Why had my son’s cancer progressed to stage 4 before we even knew he had it? If I had known what to look for, the cancer wouldn’t have progressed that far. My passion now is to help other families and young men from missing the signs of testicular cancer and help save lives. I cannot imagine having to deal with the death of a child, and my heart aches when I think of those who have lost a son to this disease.
I knew that I wanted to be an advocate for testicular cancer and spread the word to educate the general public and the importance of monthly self-exams just as women due to detect breast cancer for early detection and treatment. My passion was to prevent our situation from happening to others.
My success and passion is being the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit organization to bring awareness to testicular cancer and support others who are diagnosed with this disease. We offer financial assistance, the voice to seek a second or third opinion.
Testicular cancer is not as prevalent as breast cancer, but every life is important!
Jordan is a senior this year and plays varsity football along with many other sports. He is a “Survivor’ and my story of Success.