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Boy, 16, Dies Of Cancer Because He Was Too Embarrassed To Tell Parents About Lump In His Testicles

Boy, 16, Dies Of Cancer Because He Was Too Embarrassed To Tell Parents About Lump In His Testicles

It's important to keep the line of communication open at all times and the only way to do so is by making them comfortable and reminding them that you are always there for them.

Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Elva Etienne

As children grow up, they tend to become a little distant and secretive, or maybe that's what parents think when they don't push them enough to talk about any problems that they might be having with their private parts. It's important to keep the line of communication open at all times and the only way to do so is by making them comfortable and reminding them that you are always there for them. But before this, we need to address a bigger problem that often leads to secrecy and shame in the first place- the stigma that comes with talking openly about one's body. Unfortunately, one teenager lost his life because he didn't open up soon enough about a lump he had found in his privates. 

It's tragic how Michael Rushby was simply too embarrassed to tell his family that he had found a lump in his testicles. By the time he told his older brother about it eight months later, it was too late. Although his parents took him to see a doctor, the 16-year-old passed away just two weeks after. His death was more heartbreaking because it could have been prevented. Rushby, who was known as Mikey, died of testicular cancer and his mother Patricia Rushby has since been urging young boys to check themselves and requesting them not to be embarrassed to inform someone if they find a lump.



 

"I just want to get the message across to any young lad, don’t be scared to go to a parent, a grandparent, teacher, or friend, before it’s too late like it was for Mikey," said Patricia according to Gazette Live. "I wouldn’t like anyone else to go through what Mikey went through and what we have - it’s just tragic. His friends have been excellent with what they have done. They are really supportive and it’s appreciated by all of Mikey’s family." Rushby, a Grangetown resident, was a former student of St Mary’s RC Primary School, St Peter’s secondary in South Bank, and the Eston Centre.

Shortly after his death, a fundraiser was organized to help pay for a big headstone to honor the teen's life. Ron Gordon, who was organizing the fundraiser and working at the center, shared that their school began raising awareness regarding every aspect of health including testicular cancer. "It’s really sad. He was a really nice kid who did well at his GCSEs, got some cracking grades. It’s such a pity that a 16-year-old dies, at such a young age, and we have to use the lesson to educate people that if you have got a lump or a soreness, get it checked out - don’t be frightened," he reminded young men everywhere. 



 

 

Of course, Rushby's death was not his parents' fault but it does make one wonder whether things would have been different if he felt he could go to his parents sooner than he did. Parents often tend to stop talking to their kids about certain bodily things thinking that they are old enough to come to you if they have any problems. But have you ever wondered what message you might be sending them by not talking about it? Maybe that these are some things that are not to be discussed? As uncomfortable as it may seem to talk to your sons and daughter about their privates, it's a conversation that you just have to have.

Now kids shouldn't feel that they can only come to you with problems is as scary as a huge lump in their groin. They need to know that you're there even if they want to talk about simple, but important things like body hair, body odor, and the difference between pads and tampons. It's especially crucial to talk to them during their teenage years when they might hesitate to come forward with their issues simply because they are too embarrassed. 



 

 

 

 


 
 

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