Michael Rushby tragically passed away from the disease just two weeks after seeing a doctor.
When it comes to sexual health, it's important to end any kind of stigma surrounding it. Discussing health issues could quite literally save lives. Take the tragic case of a 16-year-old, who waited months to tell his family that he had discovered a lump—it turned out to be testicular cancer. Michael Rushby waited an agonizing eight months before finding the courage to mention the growth, but he eventually told his older brother John. Mikey, as he was affectionately known by his family, was the youngest of six brothers and sisters. At the time, John was 22 years old, when Mikey opened up. "'He said he had a problem and showed me one of his testicles," said John according to The Daily Mail. "The lump was obvious so I took him straight to A&E. The doctor said just by looking at it there was an 80 percent chance it was cancer."
They went home for the night and returned the next day for tests. The young teen was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen and chest. While it seemed bleak, doctors gave Mikey a 75% chance of beating the disease despite the eight-month delay in diagnosis. He had a week of chemotherapy, after which Mikey decided to come home. Sadly, two weeks later, the youngster was heading down the stairs when he lost his strength. He collapsed four steps from the bottom and died later that day. The cause is believed to be an infection. Patricia Rushby said, "I think he knew himself he was dying. He was adamant about coming home and he never complained." Now, the family is urging others to get regular health checks and not be afraid to talk to family members about it. His mom added, "I want to say to anyone who ever thinks they might have a problem, go to your mam, go to your dad, go to someone. Mikey could have come to his mum - I wouldn't have been embarrassed." At the time of his death, Mikey was survived by his father Michael Rushby, 61, mom Patricia, sisters Lisa, 30, Jacqueline, 27, Michelle, 26, and Leanne, 21, and his six nieces and nephews.
According to Healthline, if you have symptoms like testicular pain or discomfort, testicular swelling, lower abdominal or back pain, and enlargement of breast tissue, it's best to get checked by your doctor.
The family later organized a football tournament to raise funds for a headstone for Mikey. Patricia told Gazette Live, “I just want to get the message across to any young lad, don’t be scared to go to a parent, a grandparent, teacher or friend before it’s too late like it was for Mikey. I wouldn’t like anyone else to go through what Mikey went through and what we have, it’s just tragic. His friends have been excellent with what they have done. They are really supportive and it’s appreciated by all of Mikey’s family.” Ron Gordon, who works at the Eston Center (where Mikey was a student) and helped organize the fundraiser, added that they have been doing work on all aspects of health including testicular cancer at the school. He said, “It’s really sad. He was a really nice kid who did well at his GCSEs, got some cracking grades. It’s such a pity that a 16-year-old dies, at such a young age, and we have to use the lesson to educate people that if you have got a lump or a soreness, get it checked out - don’t be frightened.”