Brian Kemper via Crowdrise
October 14, 2013
BENEFITING: Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation, Inc
EVENT DATE: Oct 12, 2013
On October 12, 2013, I and my cousin Chad will be running marathons in Connecticut and Minnesota. I will be running the Hartford Marathon and Chad will be running the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon. We decided that we would use these events to raise money for a worthy charity. When it came time to choose the charity, the choice, given my own history, was fairly easy. If you received the link to this site from me, you probably know this history.
On September 12, 1995, while getting dressed to go to law school classes, I found a lump on my right testicle. A week later, I was diagnosed with Stage II testicular cancer. In the days following that diagnosis, I was shocked to learn some facts about testicular cancer.
First, it strikes young men, usually between 15 and 40. I also was told that men in that age range are encouraged to do self-examinations once a month so that they can catch the disease early. When I heard that statement, my immediate response was "Really, who is encouraging that? None of the doctors I saw ever told me that." There I was, at the young age of 23 (which as I grow older seems to be younger and youger), and I knew more about about the precautions suggested to women to detect breast cancer than I was about precautions that I should be taking.
The second thing that I was shocked to learn was the number of people who came to me after the diagnosis to tell me that they or someone they knew had testicular cancer, and survived. I was encouraged to hear their tales, but a little discouraged that the stories were only shared after I had entered this fraternity of brothers.
Part of the reason may be the survival rate itself. After all, 95% of men diagnosed survive. As one doctor told me, if you had to choose a cancer to have, this is the one to choose. Especially since the disease was fatal only twenty years before. As I progressed through treatment, and the years of cancer-free living since, I kept that fact in my mind, almost to the point that I thought of testicular cancer as a non-fatal disease. I glossed over the fact that 95% survival rate inversely means that the disease is 5% fatal. I also was unaware that the number of cases of testicular cancer has doubled over the last two decades. The result? There are approximately 370 deaths per year from this disease.
Sean Kimerling was one of the men who died from the disease. If you lived in NYC in 2003, you, like me, may have been familiar with Sean. He was an enthusiastic sportscaster on Channel 11 news in New York. On September 10, 2003, my wife and I were watching Channel 11 10 p.m. news, and was shocked when the show announced that Sean had died from testicular cancer at the age of 37.
Following Sean's death, his family and friends started the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation, with the mission of 1) raising awareness of testicular cancer and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, 2) providing answers,
and 3) promoting action in the fight against testicular cancer. The Foundation recognizes the importance of early detection of the disease and how awareness of the disease is necessary for detection. To that end, the Foundation does a number of things, including an annual Running of the Balls, and in partnership with UnitedHealthcare, issuing shower cards to remind men to conduct self-examination.
As a man who has gone through the disease, and perhaps more importantly, as the father of a young boy who, before I know it, will enter the target zone for the disease, I think this Foundation is a worthy one to support. I am hoping that you will agree and will donate an amount of your choosing, whether large or small, to this effort.