Man Raises Testicular Cancer Awareness By Pushing A Giant Testicle Across The U.S.
Thomas Cantley views his life as a constant gamble, and it"s not a surprise why.
Doctors diagnosed the 31-year-old with stage 3 testicular cancer back in 2009, which then spread to his lymph nodes. Although he"s currently four years in remission, he understands how crucial early detection can be, and has dedicated his life to teaching others the same.
"There"s not very many young men advocates, that are coming in with a little bit of an edge," Cantley told A+ in an interview. "A lot of them are older. I kinda wanted to hit the demographic. I've been doing it for a couple years, but I realized I needed to get out there more."
How? With a 6-foot, inflatable testicle, of course.Story continues after photo ballpush.org
In an attempt to educate the men most affected by testicular cancer — 13- to 35-year-old guys — he came up with the Ball Push project, an awareness campaign that involves pushing a giant testicle cross-country to raise awareness. Or as he puts it, a way to tell dudes to just "go check your nuts." As he travels, he explains his mission to onlookers and has people sign the ball with words of encouragement.
He made a similar trip across Canada in 2013, but after creating a partnership with The Testicular Cancer Foundation, and remembering his personal experiences, he expanded his ball travel plan to the U.S.
He told A+ that he's raising awareness because he doesn"t want other men to get to the point he was at, where it"s almost too late — especially when, currently, 99 percent of cases are treatable if detected early. Nor does he want them to feel alone.
"When I was diagnosed, I didn't want to talk about it, I pushed everyone out of life," he said.ballpush.org
He and his team began in Santa Monica, California and so far, people have offered him hotel rooms and food. Just yesterday, someone pulled over on the side of the road and asked to contribute.
Although he"s asking people to listen and learn, and will gladly accept a meal, one thing he won"t accept is money. He told A+ he wants to complete the project with the support of people alone — a metaphor for how he survived his cancer.
"Money can only get you so far," he said.
But support isn"t the only thing he"s gained. His ball pushing skills, along with his perseverance, have earned him the nickname Ballsy. Now a mantra, #BeBallsy, that he"s immensely proud of.
"It's the only option I have in my life," he told A+. "Being ballsy is being proactive. Being Ballsy about your health."ballpush.org
To follow along with Cantley"s trip, check out BallPush.org.