‘Check your balls,’ urges Coach Jack

Jack Brazil (file photo)

Jack Brazil has spent his young career getting young men and women, boys and girls to follow his instructions on the football pitch. Now, he is hoping the young men, in particular, will pay keen attention to what he has to say on a matter not related to football.

“Check your balls,” screamed the image accompanying a lengthy Facebook post from the former coach at Excel Sports Management and Academy Sports Club. In that post, Brazil, who now coaches in Norway, went on to detail how he discovered that he had testicular cancer.

He posted: “after a training session in -5 degrees, I went for a shower to try and warm myself up. As I usually do, I checked myself, and felt one of my testicles was larger and more solid than the other. I passed it off as it was cold, maybe the blood vessels had constricted to maintain heat or similar but made a mental note of it. The same situation occurred the next evening, although I felt no pain something wasn’t right. Over the next 2 days the testicle got harder and grew in size, not substantially, but because I was tracking this I noticed, so I booked a GP appointment for the following Friday 28th February.”

What happened from there on was that he sought the necessary diagnosis to confirm this.

“I was given a potential diagnosis of testicular cancer, with more tests required on the Friday. On Friday morning at 0900 I had a second ultrasound, where I was given confirmation that it was a tumour and I had testicular cancer. This was followed by a CT scan, blood tests and several other physical tests, which fortunately showed no recognised spreading of the cancer beyond my testicle,” Brazil stated.

Brazil is remembered fondly by many of his players in the Cayman Islands (file photo)

He has since undergone treatment and other than complaining about “walking with a large limp and having a handball equivalent between my legs”, has been quite upbeat. He still requires constant checks to ensure everything is in order and there is no spread.

In the meantime, he’s hoping other young men can learn from what he’s been through.

“What I want is to create awareness! I want men to remember to check and report any differences you feel and feel comfortable going to the GP/doctors about these issues. It is undoubtedly a sensitive area and having numerous nurses/doctors have their hands all over it isn’t the most comfortable feeling.

“However, without booking that first GP appointment I could be sat here now with testicular cancer and potentially the spread of a lot worse. MEN – check your balls! Frequently, carefully and make note of any changes. Be brave and get anything unusual checked, the earlier we catch these problems the higher the chance of successful treatment and recovery,” Brazil posted.

He urged parents to teach their male children the importance of this and knowing how and what to check for.

Cayman Sports Buzz editor Ben Meade spoke to “Coach Jack” in the video below about his experience and the message he hopes others take from it.

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