Justin Birckbichler

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: Virginia
Cancer: Testicular

"Getting cancer in and of itself was a blessing in disguise."

Getting cancer in and of itself was a blessing in disguise. Before cancer, I was like a dog chasing a ball, although little did I know I was about to lose one. I buried myself in random  projects, instead of finding what was meaningful to me. I’m making better use of my time now by focusing on what’s important to me, like raising awareness of testicular cancer and spending quality time doing activities I enjoy with those who I love.

Cancer isn’t just for old people. Any time I tell someone, regardless of age or gender, that I am a cancer survivor, they immediately say, “Oh but you’re so young.” While I am flattered by my youthful good looks, I always tell them that the average age at the time of receiving a testicular cancer diagnosis is 33. Since I was 25 when I received my diagnosis, I also make sure to mention that I am an overachiever!

Men being resistant and guarded about talking about their health is a driving force behind why I share my story. Society has such skewed visions of men talking about their health – we’re supposed to be seen as strong and able to heal ourselves.