On December 25, 2019, Toronto native and 9-year Raleigh resident Matt Cross was diagnosed with Stage 2B testicular cancer. A cancer diagnosis would disrupt anybody’s life. But for Matt, a 35-year-old respected and successful youth hockey coach living in Raleigh, this development was particularly jarring. Not knowing where to begin, Matt searched for a community of testicular cancer survivors or patients and found nothing of the sort in the Raleigh area.
Testicular cancer is generally treatable with a 99% cure rate when diagnosed early. It is also the number one most diagnosed type of cancer in males ages 15–35. Over 9,600 men will be diagnosed in the USA this year, with 1 in 250 men being diagnosed at some point in their lifetime.
Following orchiectomy surgery, 9-weeks of intensive chemotherapy, and a second invasive surgery to remove tumorous lymph nodes in the abdominal area, Matt was finally cancer free.
Matt’s journey through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery gave him new perspective. Given the opportunity of being taken out of the driver’s seat, he decided to lean into his suffering and grief, and discovered a deeper, truer meaning and purpose about who he was in this world and what was now his responsibility moving forward in his life.
Driven by this new sense of purpose, Matt is creating just what he believes was missing in Raleigh after his diagnosis — a community of people — survivors, patients, families, and other supporters — to be there for each other during and after their toughest fight in life. That community is Raleigh Testicular Cancer Foundation. (Pending Non-Profit 501c3)