A student at Colorado State University (CSU) will be recognized during Saturday’s football game against the University of Hawaii for his successful battle with testicular cancer; however, he wants to use his road to recovery and recognition as an opportunity to encourage young men to take health screenings more seriously.
Carl Wilson, 24, is a graduate student at CSU in Fort Collins. Originally from Arizona, Wilson recently got married and moved to northern Colorado to pursue higher education in civil engineering. However, shortly after arriving in Colorado, he and his wife noticed he was experiencing inexplicable health issues.
“We kind of first started noticing my health decreasing quite a bit, and a mast started to form,” Wilson said.
As the symptoms continued to persist Wilson decided to seek medical help from UCHealth, one of the state’s largest medical providers.
“I was like, okay, this is probably pretty serious. We should expect the worst but hope for the best,” Wilson said.
Wilson was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Though his family has a history of cancers, he said he never expected to be diagnosed, especially at such a young age.
“It was surreal for some time. It was just numb,” Wilson said. “It is definitely a process and a journey that you feel alone and hopeless.”
At first, Wilson’s only friend or family member in the state was his wife. She stayed by his side through nine weeks of chemotherapy. However, as time proceeded his classmates, professors and the staff at UCHealth also joined him in supporting his battle with cancer.
“The nine weeks of chemo we went through was effective, so we are cancer free at this point. It is great news,” Wilson said. “We wouldn’t be here today without UCHealth.”
Saturday afternoon, CSU’s football fans and team will take a moment during the game against Hawaii to honor Wilson and his battle with cancer. Wilson, who described himself as a college football fanatic, said he was honored to be selected for recognition at the game.
UCHealth and CSU are business, community and advertising partners.
“It speaks so much about how at CSU, Saturdays are so much bigger than football,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he hoped sharing his story would encourage other young men at CSU and beyond to make sure they monitor their own health and seek out screenings when needed, even if that day comes at a younger age than anticipated.
“Being in your early 20’s you get this sense of indestructibility. But at the end of the day your health is important,” Wilson said. “I don’t think any young man wants to go through that. But, it is just part of your ego that you have to swallow. Because at the end of the day it could be life-threatening.”
According to UCHealth studies show cancers are appearing in younger demographics more commonly than previously thought.
Source: Rocky Mountain News