Jeff Rosenberry woke up one morning in his hometown Richland, Ore. in early summer, 2004 and felt a small, but sharp pain in his groin area. He thought he could deal with it for a day.
After the pain didn’t recede, he had been bedridden for three weeks and had done negative self-checks for tumors, Rosenberry, now a graduate student in student services at CSU, decided to call the doctor.
“You sit down, and the doctor tells you that you have testicular cancer, and you say to yourself, ‘What’s going to happen to the barbecue I had planned this weekend?'” Rosenberry said.
Friday night, CSU and the American Cancer Society will address what will eventually affect one in 70 men and one in 49 women ages 1 to 39. These numbers are slightly up from 2000, when one of 73 men and one of 52 women of the same age group were diagnosed with cancer, according to a 2007 report by the ACS.
The annual cancer research fundraiser Relay for Life will be held Friday at 8 p.m. and will last until 8 a.m. Saturday. Teams of eight to 15 will compete to raise money for research, spread awareness and honor cancer victims.
Alison Bruce, the community relations director for the ACS, said 12 teams are currently signed up, while they’re shooting for a much higher number. The fundraising goal is $20,000, but Bruce said that might be a far shot.
“I don’t think we’re gonna get that,” she said.
But signup lasts throughout the race, and Bruce encouraged students to get a team together. There will also be booths and activities, including a sumo-wrestling pit. The relay will be held at the Jack Christiansen Memorial Track at the east end of campus.
Rosenberry’s cancer was not terminal.
“(But) for some reason, it didn’t make my life less depressing,” he said.
He didn’t tell his family or friends about the affliction at first.
After the initial depression that he said largely resulted from the pain he went through, he began to realize how much he needed the help of his loved ones and how useless depression was.
“My friends and my family were my rock and still are to this day. . The more pain I was in, the more I realized I needed the support of my family and friends,” he said. “I guess for me, you can worry about things, or you can get out and live your life.”
He had caught it in an early enough stage that after surgery and a few mild chemotherapy sessions, Rosenberry is fine, other than having to go in for regular check-ups, as he is now four times more likely to have another bout of cancer.
Since he defeated cancer, he changed his diet, started an exercise routine and gained a new outlook on life.
His advice to students is to enjoy what they do, but be careful.
“Utilize the self checks that available to you each month,” he said. “It could save your life.”
News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.