Ambassador Bio: Justin Birckbichler
Prior to October 2016, I was your typical 25-year-old guy. I enjoyed spending time with my fianceé and pets, traveling to present at educational technology conferences, reading a good book in my hammock, or lounging and watching the latest Avengers movie. That all changed when I found a lump on my left testicle during a routine self-exam in the shower. A doctor's visit a few days later revealed that it was testicular cancer. By November, I had my testicle removed and was told that I would need intensive chemotherapy since the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. After ten weeks of treatment, a follow up scan came back clear - I'm now in remission.
Cancer changed my life. Prior to cancer, I took things for granted and spent my time involved in way too many side projects, while neglecting my personal relationships. It helped put things into perspective and show me how I should invest my time. Little things that may have bothered me before no longer mattered, and I was able to pour more time and energy into building strong bonds with others. A new passion has arisen from this ordeal - a desire to spread awareness. From the beginning of this journey, I’ve been openly sharing my story on my testicular cancer awareness blog, A Ballsy Sense of Tumor. Men’s health is simply not discussed nearly enough. A self-check basically saved my life, and I only knew to do it from an off-hand remark from a doctor. Now that I know how critical it is, I’ve worked hard to spread more awareness about this issue and the importance of self-checks. By joining the TCAF Ambassador program, I hope I can continue this mission on a larger scale.