This Saturday, the first Love Thy Balls event will take place at The Point. Aimed at getting people to talk more about testicular cancer, we caught up with the founder and organiser, DR STEPHANIE KOTES, to discuss the vision and one of the least talked-about cancers.
The idea for Love Thy Balls came to Dr Stephanie Kotes while at a CrossFit class by the same name. “As a urologist, I’ve wanted to raise awareness about testicular cancer for a while, particularly among young men aged between 15 and 35… So, inspired by that one class, we’re heading to Pjazza Tigne to help people get a work out and understand testicular cancer better,” she explains.
While October is widely associated with Breast Cancer Awareness, not many people know that November is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month so, with the 11th month just around the corner, Dr Kotes hopes the event will inspire others to repeat the work out and help raise awareness to make Purple November as popular as Pink October.
“Locally we diagnose around 18 new cases per year, and almost every time I am shocked at how unaware of the disease these patients are,” she says. “Nevertheless, I believe its low profile is due to the fact that the ones who do know about it are shy to speak up so this will, hopefully, be a first step in changing that.”
The telltale signs for testicular cancer are various, and it’s important to cup your balls at least once a month to feel for any changes in size, shape and consistency. Any irregularities, such as lumps, pain or heaviness that may feel even slightly sinister should and do warrant a check-up.
Saturday’s event, however, will focus on raising awareness and funds by getting people to run, do push-ups, burpees and the works, in aid of testicular cancer awareness. Anyone can join and no particular fitness level is required. And there are prizes for the fastest runner and for the most burpees performed, too, including vouchers from New York Best and Dean Gera Hair Care, as well as two pairs of bike balls, which are the latest trend in bike lights. The first 50 participants, meanwhile, will receive a free goodie bag!
“We’ll also be selling T-shirts and mugs at the event, and collecting a €5-donation to go towards testicular cancer awareness,” Dr Kotes continues. “Of course, being our first ever event, we are not sure what kind of turnout to expect but, no matter what happens, next year I am hoping that Love Thy Balls will become a natural progression from the Pink October movement and that people will start talking about testicular cancer in a similar fashion.”
SMS donation numbers are already open, and people can show their support by sending a donation to 5061 8168 (€4.99) 5061 8987(€6.99) or 5061 9286 (€11.65).
With all that in mind, the balls are now in your court!
You can find more about the Love Thy Balls event at Pjazza Tigne, Sliema on the official Facebook event page.