Testicular Cancer Survivor Pledges Funds for DCI Cancer Support
In December, the Raleigh Testicular Cancer Foundation (RTCF), established by testicular cancer survivor Matt Cross, made a $10,000 pledge to Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.
The funds will be used to support therapy and support groups for men as well as the Pets at Duke program. This gift will also make possible the naming of an Oak Tree in the Seese-Thorton Garden of Tranquility (adjacent to Duke Cancer Center) in honor of the Raleigh Testicular Cancer Foundation.
"During my testicular cancer journey at Duke, I was inspired to form an organization that serves and impacts the lives of men in our city," wrote Cross in a Facebook post following the donation. "Having the opportunity and responsibility to provide a $10,000 donation to the Duke Cancer Center along with the naming of a beautiful Oak Tree is an absolute honor, and everyone at RTCF couldn’t be prouder."
Cross is a 37-year-old hockey coach from Toronto who moved to North Carolina about a decade ago. On Christmas Day 2019, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 2b testicular cancer. One year later — following surgery to remove one testicle, nine weeks of intensive chemotherapy, and a second invasive surgery to remove tumorous lymph nodes in his stomach — he showed no further signs of cancer. That's when he announced the launch of his foundation, a non-profit to raise awareness about testicular cancer, provide preventative education about the disease, and support patients, caregivers, and survivors across the City of Oaks (Raleigh) and beyond.
Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men aged 15 to 35; striking 10,000 men each year. One in 250 men being will be diagnosed with testicular cancer at some point in their lifetime.
"With early detection, testicular cancer has an extremely high survival rate, so it's our vision that young men and women become educated on the importance of regular self-checks," said Cross, who was treated at Duke Cancer Center Raleigh by medical oncologist Sundhar Ramalingam, MD, and surgical oncologist Thomas Longo, MD. "We also aim to break the stigma around men's health by creating a community for men to feel empowered through their physical and mental health challenges. We are determined to give back and serve the community that was there for me and my family during the most challenging season of our lives."
Cross' foundation (RTCF) administers a peer support program that reaches Duke and UNC testicular cancer patients and also provides financial assistance to patients. For more information about the foundation, visit www.CheckYourAcorns.org