Father and son sporting matching moustaches
Ryan Hambleton and his father JoeImage by: Ryan Hambleton
Father and son sporting matching moustaches
6 April 2022

Ryan’s Story: The Importance of Having Someone in Your Corner

Nuts & Bolts Guide
Ryan Hambleton
3 minutes read time

It was a tough day. I had just received a call from my father with news that after taking my advice to check himself and go get tested, they had discovered a tumor that was likely cancerous. At the age of 59, this was unfathomable. Most testicular cancer cases occurred in younger men. I know, because I had been diagnosed with stage II testicular cancer just a few weeks prior.

I was 28 at the time and had just moved from Chicago to Portland with my long-time girlfriend (now wife). Just before the move, I had noticed a lump on my right testicle, but had put off getting it checked out. After living life and not paying attention to its increase in size over the course of the next year, one day on my way to work I felt intense pain and went to Urgent Care to get checked out. The next day I was told It was likely testicular cancer, and that kicked off my cancer journey.

" Knowing that I now had another family member going through the same battle as me, I felt I needed to find the strength to fight with and for my father as well. "

We were In each other's corner. We were truly in it together in every sense of the phrase. Being in different parts of the country, we were mostly on calls and texts, but the moral support and having someone to fight with and fight for really gave us the extra strength at the hardest times.

I became familiar with Movember when I started participating by growing a moustache and raising funds several years ago. I'd seen how sharing real stories of those who'd been through it can have a positive impact. Personally, I found the Real Stories on Movember's website helpful when I was diagnosed, as at the time I hadn't known anyone else who'd gone through testicular cancer. That’s why, when the opportunity to become a Nuts & Bolts Guide came up, I signed up right away, simply as a way to give back as someone who had been through it before. While there may be lots of great resources and information out there, something that seems obvious now that I’m a Nuts & Bolts Guide, but didn’t realize until becoming one, is that because everyone’s journey with testicular cancer is unique, having a personal, private, one-on-one conversation with someone who’s been through it, asking nuanced questions as they come up, makes all the difference.

This is a key challenge for men: finding out how to make the right health choices for themselves, individually. Some of those choices are objectively good for all men, such as getting checked out regularly by a medical professional, while others are subjective and based on an individual's body and lifestyle. We as men don't need to know all the answers -- that's not even possible -- we just need to make sure we are asking the right questions and are in tune with our mind and bodies. As a Guide, this is where I can help. I’m an open book and happy to discuss anything. I’m here for anyone who may be seeking someone in their corner who’s already walked the path and come out the other side.

Your health is your life, and you only have one. My hope is that I’m able to reciprocate the love and positive energy I received during my journey, so that it may help anyone who is facing a similar path.

Every nut is unique. Get to know yours at movember.com/KnowThyNuts