Thomas Cantley isn’t your average cancer survivor – he’s so passionate about raising awareness that he’s actually pushing a giant inflatable ball across America. The ball, nicknamed ‘Lefty’, serves as a metaphor for testicular cancer – the disease that Cantley managed to survive. He started the ‘ballsy’ quest at Santa Monica, California, and plans to make it all the way to the southern coast before heading towards New York, stopping at 11 cities on the way.
Cantley’s cancer journey started in 2009, when he suffered abdominal and lower back pain. He didn’t realise right away what the symptoms meant, and he says that he never received preventive information. In fact, he wasn’t even aware of the disease’s existence.
“I had this ‘Superman Complex’ all these men create,” he admitted. “I was a fashion photographer in New York and I was so self-centered.” So he didn’t see a doctor until things got really bad and he had to go to the emergency room. That’s when he was diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer – the illness had spread to other parts of his body besides the lymph nodes.