YORK, Pa. — April is Testicular cancer awareness month. The leading cancer among men between the ages of 15 and 44 claimed the life of a 26-year-old Pennsylvania man last June. Now his former fraternity brothers are on a mission to keep his legacy alive.
Alex Bartlett was just 24-years-old and a recent graduate of Lock Haven University when doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 testicular cancer.
"He was the person when you would come into a room, everyone would know him and he would say hi and he was always waving at everyone," said Brent Juster. "He just had this laugh and moral that really just made you gravitate towards him. It was this easy going spirit that people loved," said Landon Allen.
The cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes in his abdomen and 80 percent of his lungs. A diagnosis Alex's former fraternity brothers Brent and Landon say, somehow didn't get him down. "That's the hardest part, he got diagnosed at such a young age at stage 4 that it really changed his entire life," said Landon.
But it didn't stop him from living. "He was just always positive about it, he was like, ok, I'm just gonna you know, take this chemo, he set a plan, I just want to get it over with and get on with my life," said Brent. And Alex did. He spent the rest of his life helping others...even speaking in schools to raise awareness about testicular cancer. Landon said, "Him having such a positive view and roll on it, is really what showed Alex's true colors." That's also why they knew they needed to continue Alex's mission, after he passed away last June at the age of 26.
The Alexander C. Bartlett "Well" Endowment will give a $500 scholarship every year to a senior at Alex's former high school as well as another annual $500 wellness grant to a college campus to educate students about the early signs of testicular cancer and the importance of monthly self-exams.
Landon and Brent both say awareness is key. "If we would have had the same kind of early detection with Alex, he may be sitting here with us today and we may be sharing a different story," Landon said.
The endowment will be managed by the Alpha Chi Rho Educational Foundation, and it will continue to accept donations with the hope of impacting more college and college bound students. The first scholarship and wellness grant are expected to be awarded in 2022.
For more information on Alex’s story, go to his blogpost on A Ballsy Sense of Humor.
To donate to the Alex C. Bartlett "Well" Endowment, click here.
A self exam is how most cases of testicular cancer are detected early. For how to do a self exam, click here.
Other important information to know from the American Cancer Society:
- About 1 of 250 males will develop testicular cancer at some point during their life.
- 50% of testicular cancer cases occur in males aged 15-44.
- The average age at the time of a testicular cancer diagnosis is about 33.
- About 6% of cases occur in children and teens, and about 8% occur in men over the age of 55.
- About 9,560 new cases will be diagnosed in the US in 2019. (Up from 9,310 in 2018).,
- The incidence rate of TC has been increasing for several decades for unknown reasons. There will be about 410 deaths in 2019.
- A man’s lifetime risk of dying of testicular cancer is about 1 in 5,000.
- Testicular cancer can boast an overall 90% cure rate.
- 99% Localized (contained in the testicles)
- 96% Regional (spread to lymph nodes)
- 73% Distant (metastasized to other organs)