‘Provided it’s medically necessary, of course’
BY CALUM FRASER
Ryan Chandler says he would now feel comfortable dropping his pants in front of any doctor.
The 43-year-old, who runs the Meet Bernard shop in Greenwich, was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year. He had one testicle removed in July last year at King’s College hospital and he is almost one year clear.
The Crofton Park resident is now hosting a football festival, called Festi’ball, this weekend to raise money for charity and awareness of men’s health issues.
He said: “Cancer and men’s health can be such a taboo subject. No man wants to go into a doctor’s surgery, drop their pants and get the finger up the bum treatment.
“But if you find the cancer early enough then it is so much easier to treat.
“If you do not do something then it spreads fast to other parts of your body.”
Mr Chandler had arrived back from holiday last July when he felt an unusual ridge on his testicle. He immediately went in to see the doctor.
He said: “There was this beautiful young female doctor there.
“There I was standing in the surgery with my pants around my ankles. Not my proudest moment. They said you’re going to have to get a scan. Next doctor was yet another good looking woman. Just my luck.
“Then they needed to put a dye in my body to highlight any problems with my testicle”
“Well, that sorted out any sense of embarrassment I had. Now I can drop my trousers in front of anyone. If it is medically necessary of course.
“People came in and out and looked at my testicle. No one was saying anything. Then a doctor came in and told me I had cancer. It was one of those dawning moments. You just kind of freeze. You think the worst.”
Within 24 hours he had surgery and his left testicle removed.
“My experience with the NHS was amazing,” he said. “It saved me from having chemo. I had two types of cancer. One was very aggressive.
“I had a full body CT scan to find out if the cancer had spread to other parts of my body. That two week wait for the results was pretty s***. You are left in the dark, expecting the worst. I had to make a donation to the sperm bank in case I was no longer able to have children.”
The results came back clear and he has been in for monthly checks since.
Mr Chandler was supported through the experience by his wife Daniela and two children, Bruno and Ruby.
He said: “All the cliched stuff is true, you appreciate life so much more. You realise what really matters – family, friends, health.
“I felt I should be doing something. I emailed all my mates telling them to check themselves. We had a Movember group, called Team Tashticle.
“About 10 of us raised £7,000. But I felt growing a mustache was not quite enough. I should be pushing myself to do something more. So Festi’ball was born.”
Festi’ball will be a dads knockout-style football tournament and a family-friendly festival with entertainment for the kids, healthy eating workshops, a craft beer tent and a bake-off competition.
Arsenal goalkeeper Peter Cech has said he’ll attend and present the award to the winning team, subject to his schedule.
Representatives from two charities, Cancer Research UK and Ball Boys, will be at the Catford St Dunstans Sports Ground on the day giving advice.
Mr Chandler wants to roll this kind of event out across the UK.
To enter the competition it costs £150 per 5-a-side team.
The event takes place on July 15.
But Mr Chandler says it will be finished by 2pm so that people who want to watch the World Cup Final at 4pm will have plenty of time to do that.