Ambassador Bio: April Vogel
My 19 year old son was diagnosed with stage 4 choriocarcinoma 3 years ago and nearly lost his life to this disease a day later. Everything happened so fast that we really didn't have any choices. Adam was so sick and we just had to go with the protocol that his oncologist and medical team decided on for him. Luckily we had an amazing oncologist and urologist, not to mention the brain surgeon that saved his life. Even if we had choices I wouldn't have known which way to go. Our family and friends were an amazing support system but we had no one that knew anything about Testicular Cancer. All we had was the information we could find on the internet. It was hard for Adam and it was devastating for me having no one that knew anything about what I was going through. I found a support group on Facebook a couple of months after Adam was in remission and it was a godsend. I started a couple of groups myself in the hopes that it will help other caregivers so that they have the support they so desperately need.
I think the most important thing is to educate young people and the parents about Testicular Cancer and self exams so it can be caught in the early stages. I think this needs to happen in the schools and I think there should be pamphlets in all pediatrician offices. There needs to be more information out there on Testicular Cancer and where to go for help if needed. And there needs to be as much support out there as possible not only for the patient but for the caregiver also. The caregivers are often forgotten because all of the focus is on the patient and I would like to see an amazing program that will focus on the caregiver as well as the patient. These are usually parents whose son's are fighting for their life. Or a wife with children who is left with no income while their husband is going through treatment. This is devastating and they need someone there for support, and they need to know where they can turn for help. We need to help the caregivers so they can help the patient and I hope to be able to help with that.