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imageYou reach for your Gatorade Saturday morning and instead of the hangover-quenching joy as it trickles down your throat, the taste is like the 4th-grade dare to put your tongue on the frozen tetherball pole. Radiation, man. That mouth-watering feeling you get when you see a juicy burger and a side of fries, the ice-cold beer on a Friday at 5:00, wings during Monday night football…gone. Radiation, man.

Soul patch, chinstrap, handlebar: let’s get it growing. Don’t worry kids with the peach fuzz, that’ll count this year. November is Men’s Health Awareness month and we’re just over here trying to save the balls. According to the The Movember Foundation, “Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15-34 in the U.S.” Movember funds over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Ridge’s Stitches will be donating seven percent of our profits to the Movember Foundation during the month of November.

“Get your balls checked, boys” advises Kyle Hocking, a testicular cancer survivor!

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Hocking is a big proponent of men’s health. At the age of 25, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011.

“The problem with people is they’re scared that something might be wrong, so they don’t go until something is wrong. If you’re on top of your health and you control your health, you will live a stress-free life. You want to be one step ahead” Hocking shares.

Hocking discovered he had cancer after feeling a sharp on-going pain in his groin. He went to the doctor. The doctor suggested he get an ultrasound. Sure enough, they found a tumor. Hocking had been diagnosed with stage one testicular cancer.

“I got extremely lucky. I had a surgery scheduled within a week and then I would do one round of radiation. I would get checked every three months for the next two years,” Hocking explained.

Imagine not wanting to eat because everything tastes like straight up braces. Your taste buds are tiny little hairs so the radiation kills these hairs and everything tastes like metal. After not being able to taste for months, Hocking said his diet is extremely important now. He eats organic whenever possible and tomatoes are often included in his daily routine. Tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, and papayas are really good for men’s health. According to Men’s Fitness, these foods contain a supplement called Lycopene, which has been shown to protect against lung, stomach, and prostate cancers.

Hocking finds it necessary to stay extremely active. Running is a therapy for Hocking. He recently ran the Chicago Marathon in October, 2015 for Imerman Angels, an organization that provides one-on-one support among cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers. Check out Hocking’s journey to the race here.

Do you want to keep chowing down on some late night za? How about indulging in an order of steak and eggs during Sunday brunch? Well I think it’s settled. Get out there. Take a little jog to the doc in that Ridge’s Stitch and “get your balls checked, boys!”


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