Raising awareness of testicular cancer

Nathan Clift with wife Claire and son AJ. (Justin Flynn)

By Justin Flynn

By Justin Flynn

When Nathan Clift’s young son accidentally kicked him in the groin, he had no idea it would probably save his life.

Nathan, 34, was playing with son AJ in October last year when an unintentional kick to the groin prematurely ended the fun.

It was painful and still sore the following day.

Nathan went to a GP who sent him to hospital for a check to be on the safe side.

Scans showed a build-up of fluid on his right testicle, which was put down to the trauma of the blow and it was suggested the situation be monitored.

A week later the pain was still there and further tests revealed testicular cancer.

It was a total shock for the Clifton Springs resident and Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club member and days later, Nathan’s right testicle was removed.

“One hundred per cent AJ has probably saved my life,” Nathan told the Voice.

“Who would have thought a kick to the balls would do that?”

However, in January, after a mandatory three-month check-up, Nathan was told the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and he had to go through a nine-week cycle of chemotherapy. The tumour had also encroached on one of his major veins.

Nathan spent his first week of chemo at Andrew Love Centre. He described the staff as “the most beautiful, beautiful human beings”.

His wife, Claire, is due to give birth to the couple’s second child in June.

Nathan’s prognosis is still good.

“It’s very common to have to have that happen,” Nathan said.

“The doctors say it’s got the best prognosis out of all the cancers out there, but it’s still scary.”

Nathan’s message to blokes out there is to swallow your pride and check yourself regularly, for yours and your family’s sake.

“If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked. There’s no harm in getting it checked and get a second opinion if you want,” he said.

“I’ve got three shining reasons to come home to every day and I’m thankful that I just had that thought of getting it checked. I’m so glad I followed through with it.

“My wife and my kids are my world. They mean absolutely everything to me.”

Nathan is attempting to become a career firefighter and is currently a polished concreter.

“I really enjoy working so it’s hard for me to take time off,” he said.

He tries to find humour in the situation.

“I’m coming in fit and fighting and with a good attitude,” he said.

“There are a heap of jokes that can be said in this. Things like ‘I’m not as ballsy as I once was’ – you have to stay positive.”

Claire is a paramedic and has had to juggle a lot during the last few months.

“It’s draining that’s for sure with a toddler, being pregnant and a sick husband,” she said.

“That’s life and you do what you have to do. Be proactive. Go and see your doctor.”

Nathan and Claire’s friend Amelia has organised a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses and time off work. Details: gofundme.com/f/supporting-our-friend-clifty


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