Phillip Gleaves is hitting the road to raise awareness of testicular cancer.
Phillip, of Alliance Street, is taking on the Great North Run next weekend in aid of Hartlepool Hospice
But he also hopes to raise awareness of the disease after undergoing treatment himself.
His condition came to light in August 2014 after he underwent a different surgical procedure in the same delicate area.
Phillip and wife Lauren already had son Harry - now eight - and when Lauren fell pregnant with twins Annabel and Chloe, Phillip decided enough was enough.“I went for a vasectomy in the January,” he said.
Discomfort after the op led Phillip to go back to the doctor.
I think men need to be more open about going to the doctor.Phillip Gleaves
“I thought I felt a lump after the vasectomy, so I went for scans,” he said.
The examination found nothing relating to the vasectomy .
But it did uncover another growth of which Phillip had not been aware.
He underwent surgery to remove his right testicle in July 2014 and learned within weeks how lucky he had been.
Phillip admits he had mixed emotions when doctors broke the news that what they had removed was malignant.
“To turn 30 in the May then be told in the August that you have cancer was pretty hard,” he said.
“But it was still in stage one and cancer goes up to stage three or four, so it was really, really early that they caught it.
“I was very lucky - what I could feel after the vasectomy turned out to be nothing to do with the testicular cancer.”
Scans and blood tests confirmed the cancer had not spread and Phillip, who works for Hartlepool’s Youth Justice Service, is now undergoing regular check ups and scans and waiting to be given the all-clear.
He is worried that despite increased publicity surrounding the condition, there is still a stigma around about testicular cancer.
“I think men need to be more open about going to the doctor and getting themselves checked.
“My friends and colleagues are taking it more seriously and checking themselves but it is not until it happens to someone you know that you realise it could happen to you - I certainly never expected it to happen to me.
“The message is - check your nuts.”
To sponsor Phillip, visit https://hhgnr16.everydayhero.com/uk/phillip