UK -- A teenager waited an agonising eight months before finding the courage to mention he had found a lump - and died of testicular cancer just two weeks later.
Now the heartbroken family of Michael Rushby has urged young men to check themselves after the death of the much-loved 16-year-old. His mother Patricia, 52, says: 'He was my baby. I loved him to pieces. I want other young people to know what we have gone through. I wouldn't want any family to go through what we have.'
Michael, the youngest of six brothers and sisters, was having a drink with older brother John, 22, at the family home on April 17 when he finally spoke up. 'He said he had a problem and showed me one of his testicles,' said John. 'The lump was obvious so I took him straight to Accident and emergency service. The doctor said just by looking at it there was an 80 per cent chance it was cancer.'
The next day, Michael went back to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital for tests. Testicular cancer was diagnosed, and it was also found the cancer had spread to his abdomen and chest. Despite the eight-month delay in diagnosis, Mikey was still given a 75 per cent chance of beating the disease.
He had a week of chemotherapy and was allowed to go home on Friday, April 26 at his own request. He was due back at the hospital on Monday April 29, but lost his strength and collapsed at home.
He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died later that day, it is believed from an infection.
His mother said: 'I think he knew himself he was dying. He was adamant about coming home and he never complained. 'I want to say to anyone who ever thinks they might have a problem, go to your mom, go to your dad, go to someone. Mikey could have come to his mom - I wouldn't have been embarrassed.'