WASHINGTON - Cancer hit home hard for a young Rockville man diagnosed with testicular cancer at a time when his classmates were planning for proms and graduation. But four years later after a tough fight, his life is back to normal and he is now working hard to make sure no one has to deal with it too.
"When you are young, you think you are invincible,” said Jason Greenspan. “You never think anything can happen to you and you never think you are going to get cancer, especially you."
As Greenspan geared up for the senior year rituals of prom and graduation four years ago, he found out he did.
"I was just on the couch watching television, had a simple itch, and I felt something that didn't seem right,” he said. “I told my mom and a couple of days later, I got checked by the doctor and he said the words I never thought I would hear – ‘You have cancer.’”
College plans were suddenly on hold as he had surgery to remove his left testicle with nine weeks of chemotherapy afterwards.
"During that time, most of my day consisted of lying on the couch watching television, having stomach pains, not eating, losing weight,” Greenspan described. “It was not good at all during chemo."
But two days before Thanksgiving that year, he finally got the all-clear.
Now, he is taking a childhood hobby of collecting those old pressed pennies you find at amusement parks as part of a fundraiser called Stamp Out Cancer Now!
"I was inspired by Lance Armstrong since he had a very successful fundraiser with his Livestrong wristbands,” said Greenspan.
It even caught Armstrong's attention with him showing off a blue Stamp Out Cancer Now wristband.
Greenspan has already raised thousands for cancer research, but more importantly, he wants to start a conversation.
“A lot of people are embarrassed to talk about it and there is no reason to,” he said. “Everyone has the same body and there is no reason to be embarrassed at all. It is better that you get checked and check yourself and it is better to be safe than sorry with that."
Greenspan said the money he is raising is going towards the Livestrong Foundation and Testicular Cancer Foundation.
In the meantime, he is preparing for his last year at Shippensburg University majoring in marketing, but plans to keep his cancer prevention crusade going.