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How a charity stall saved my life

Sophie Dart, Ovarian Germ Cell Cancer Survivor
John Livingstone, Testicular Cancer Survivor

Hi, my name’s John and in 2017 I was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Prior to this and over the years I've had the chance to host and attend a number of events where the Robin Cancer Trust has been raising awareness of germ cell cancer. I've always been drawn to their modern, honest and friendly approach to such a serious and important cause.

Back in 2017 I found a lump. 33 years young and newly married, memories came flooding back to me of feeling a pair of fake rubber testicles at a fundraiser. Knowing what to look for I feel these gave me the confidence to know something wasn't right, and so went to my GP. There he gave me such a thorough examination that it brought tears to my eyes, a day I will not forget.

Fast-tracked, with an aggressive cancer diagnosis, I was soon discussing options for my own fake rubber ball. Who knew you could get them in different sizes! Thankfully, a discussion on the possible options for prosthesis is better than being told I was too late. Germ cell cancer moves fast, but I moved faster thanks to the knowledge I had.

I found the more I spoke to people about my experience the more they opened up too. Everyone had a story or connection somewhere. I’ve come to realise we're all in it together and there's nothing to be ashamed of.

So, it is with mighty gratitude to the Robin Cancer Trust, and a huge thank you to the NHS that I'm here to tell the tale. I have had the chance to become a Dad too and I'm also still around to be a husband, son, brother and friend. Which I am eternally thankful for.

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