Andrews Story

This is a brilliant insight in to his cancer story….

So here’s a story. One that’s funny in parts. Emotional in others. Has a serious message. And hasn’t quite ended yet. Turns out, I’ve got cancer. Testicular cancer. But I’m still a young man, cancer’s for old people right? Turns out not.

Story starts about 6 weeks ago, when I’m sitting on my sofa watching Match of the Day, playing with my balls as I usually do. Didn’t notice that lump before. Probably nothing. Next day, find myself playing with my balls more, which the girl at the checkout counter found quite off putting, but still not really taking it that seriously. 4 weeks down the line, I’m getting more and more obsessed with this lumpy bollock. Am I imagining it? Was it always like that? Has it changed since I first noticed it? Another couple of weeks after I decide I need a second opinion. Call the wife up to have a feel. She laughs cos she thinks I’m getting frisky. Face drops a little when she realises I’m not. But she’s not a testicle specialist, and she can’t really tell if anything’s out of the ordinary, so it’s off to the doctors with me.

Waiting for the doctor’s surgery to answer that phone felt like the longest ‘You’re on hold, please wait’ queue of my life. Didn’t they know, this is my manhood on the line here? Eventually get an appointment, it’s for an hour with the nurse. “She’s ok with looking at testicles?” I ask. “Yes, Yes, she’s skilled in that area”. Awesome, don’t want unskilled people handling my balls thanks very much. Mind starts wandering as to what it might be. Still, no worries, it’s probably just a cyst or something right? Or my left nut is within normal limits and it’s just my imagination.

Get to the doctor’s, tell the story, and turns out the nurse would rather the duty doctor check me over. I’m not shy, I spent my uni days as a physio in next to no clothes, but for some reason taking my trousers off this time feels different. We shuffle the kids from one room to the other, nurse says it’s ok for them to come with me, I tell her I’m not comfortable with my 7 year old daughter and 3 year old son watching another man fondle my balls. They stay with her. Doctor gets me to stand in front of him and looks at my naked Johnson. He wants to see how they hang first. Wait what? Is that an actual medical assessment? How they hang?

Apparently so. As within about 5 seconds of looking at my hanging balls he says “I’m referring you to a specialist”. “Um. Ok. So it’s serious” I think. But I don’t have much time to think as the doctor then opens the door to go inform the nurse. I’m still stood there with my junk on display by the way! In fairness to him he realised quickly and apologised and shut the door, but pretty sure the little old Doris just outside has an unfortunate image she’s struggling to get rid of. The nurse explains the next step to me, and I’m impressed as she fills out the referral and sends it there and then. And then I see the title on the form. Urology Cancer Screen. (Learn More here) Cancer. Just jumping right out at me off the monitor. Fuck. Really? Ok, I’m a health professional, I can deal with it, I’m ok…. Let’s go get a haircut.

So as we’re walking out, the kids start asking questions. “Everything alright daddy? You’re not sick are you?”. “Of course not kids, just need to get my friends at the hospital to check more closely” I lie through my teeth. Maybe it’s not a lie, maybe it is nothing and the doctor’s just covering his arse. Yeah probably that. Short back and sides please Mr. hairdresser. Then the usual idle football banter starts with him, but this time I’m thinking “I don’t give a shit if you think Chelsea are going to walk the rest of the season, I might have cancer you douche”. Then I catch myself. Life goes on. Why would he care anyway? All he’d lose is my 8 quid every 6 weeks and some bloke complaining about Leyton Orient going down the pan. Life goes on…

So I go out for the day with my kids, we go to a castle and do a treasure hunt, and suddenly I’m like superdad. I’m totally invested in everything they’re doing, I don’t lose my rag or shout at them once, I pick them up when their legs get tired and we stay there for ages. Amazing what a life threatening condition can do for parenting skills! Then I get a phone call which brings me down to earth with a bump. It’s the hospital. They’ll see me on Wednesday. That’s 2 days away. 2 days. This is the NHS. Stuff doesn’t happen in 2 days. I know cos I work there. Unless it’s serious. Then stuff gets done quick. Shit.

Those 2 days go slowly. I’m back at work but not really focused. I resent my patients for moaning about their conditions. “You’re lucky” I think. I tell my boss that I’m off my game, and the reason. She’s incredibly understanding. Thank you. I stay busy, people notice I’m not my usual chirpy self. “I’m fine” I say. Until I’m not fine, and I say as much, which catches a few unaware. Feel bad for doing that. Then it’s 2.50 on Wednesday afternoon. And the walk to the urology department feels like I’m on death row. Check in, sit down, and wait. Looking around, damn I feel young. Everyone else here must be over 60. What am I doing here? Why has this happened? Surely it’s a mistake? “Andrew Lowden”. My name is called like a judge’s sentence…

The doctor talks a little but we get down to business quickly, and before I know it I’m on the plinth with my ballsack on display. “Fast mover” I think to myself. He has a little juggle, then asks if his specialist nurse colleague can have a feel. I make her promise to never make eye contact with me in the corridors after this moment and she has a feel. “Feel that?” The doc says. “That’s a tumour”. Is he talking to me or her? Tumour? Is that cancer? I should know this, I’m a medical person. Tumour means cancer right? Why has time stopped. Aaaaaargh!

So we sit down and he talks something at me about different types of tumour which I don’t quite understand. He seems pretty happy though which I find odd. Then he starts making plans and I feel myself going along with it. Ok, this is happening, time to man up Lowden. I need an ultrasound scan? Sure, let’s do it. You need my blood? Go ahead. You want to chop off my left nut? Absolutely… wait what.. yeah absolutely. The Macmillan Nurse took me off to make sure I’d understood everything, and whilst we discussed the surgery called an orchiectomy, the possible chemo, and whether I get a fake bollock put in or not all I could really think was ‘This woman was squeezing my balls 2 minutes ago’! “What’s the benefits of a fake bollock?” I asked. “Nothing really, some blokes like it and it’s cosmetic”. Cosmetic? It’s not like I go around with my nut sack on display regularly. Well not since university anyway. This was not a decision that I could make alone, and I knew my wife was waiting at home for the results of my clinic appointment. Is this the kind of thing I can tell her over the phone? Surely I should do it face to face? But I’m gonna be here another hour or so I think. Can it wait that long? Then my fingers were dialling…

“Are you being serious?” Those words will resonate with me forever. “Ok. Ok. Ok.” I could hear her voice trembling a little as I recounted the various bits of information I’d just received. She wasn’t Ok, she was clearly struggling, and I just wanted to be home and giving her a hug but I had these damn tests to go to. Damn tests that would tell me what I already knew deep down. “There’s positives” I tried to reassure her. “It’s probably curable. Not just treatable but curable. The odds are in my favour”. Weird, but I’m there thinking I’ve been lucky. I tell her I’ve got these tests and hang up on the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make.

But this is where the NHS kicked into overdrive and proved why it’s the best health service in the world. It was just before 4 o’clock and I needed a chest xray, ultrasound scan and my bloods taken. On arriving at radiology I got treated like a VIP, whisked through for my xray then straight into ultrasound. No one really said much as they did their tests, although I thought the little tissue paper hammock the guy used to hoist up my balls was ingenious. Then up to outpatients where the girls were just leaving work but kind enough to take my bloods. “Why’s everyone being so nice to me? Must be the physio uniform I’m wearing… oh. Maybe it’s the other thing”.

As I walked through the front door I didn’t quite know what to do or what to say. I was somewhere between an accepting smile and puppy dog eyes when Susie flung herself around my neck and didn’t let go. That was exactly what I needed, as is her standard Andy-reading behaviour, and I tried to lose myself in her shoulder. Thankfully the kids were on a sleepover at the in-laws, and I spent the rest of the evening discussing our options with my wife whilst drinking copious amounts of gin. The alcohol helped for sure, although the wife won’t agree with me on that.

Next day at work I bit the bullet and decided that people should be made aware. I knew I’d been a bit of a moody idiot earlier in the week, and didn’t want to upset people. The reactions varied from “OMG” to speechless to “thought something was up”, but every single person was supportive. I found talking about it openly really helped me to come to terms with it, and was even able to start making jokes about it. Was that right? Should I be feeling sorry for myself? Who cares, this was about me dealing with it in my way. The doctor from the previous evening got in touch and asked me to come see him again. Oh crap. He’s found something nasty on the scans. Turns out not. Bloods were essentially normal except for one showing a tumour was present, and we knew that from the scan and a left nut the size of Alaska. We discuss the next steps and he tells me I’m already booked for surgery next week. 6 days time. So hold on, 9 days after I show up waving my balls at my GP, I’ll have been scanned, tested, consulted, educated and operated on. Who says the NHS is in crisis? That’s a damn good service right there.

The rest of the week I try and carry on as normal as possible. I spend my day focusing on work, with sporadic discussions about my diagnosis and the plans next week. There’s a surprising amount of laughter about things related, and this helps me. I go out on Friday night with a lot of my work colleagues for a previously planned party, smash everyone at beer pong, get off my face and dance like a dad as the oldest person in a club. This isn’t unusual I should add.

The days between then and now are indiscriminate. I’ve had countless conversations with family members, text chats with friends, ponderings with my wife. They all make me feel a little better about life, about the future, about what’s about to happen. But here I am. Anxious about Wednesday. Excited, yet scared shitless. Ready, yet so unprepared. The luckiest unlucky bloke. But determined. Determined to get through this and win. Determined to be the husband and father my family need from me. Determined to be a better friend than I have. And also determined that this crappy disease doesn’t catch anyone else.

For now I was checking this Homepage to find home care assistance during my radiotherapy because I will not be able to do so many things as I would like to, but they are a great support at home, specially because my wife will keep working during this battle.

So please, if you’ve read all this to the end, do something for me. Share this post amongst your friends, male and female. Men – check your balls regularly. Women – check your fella’s balls regularly. Let’s make the second day of the week Testicle Tuesday. If you think you’ve found something, get checked out by a health professional. If not, enjoy the fact you played with your balls and laugh. This is just the start of my journey, and I hope to catch up with you all very soon.


We are extremely grateful to hear back from people we’ve helped over the years, so we decided that this year we would put a few of them on here.

It is an honour to be able to help & thank you.

“You being at the end of the phone in Dad’s last few hours was a god send, Thank you” ……. Mrs M, Wigan

“Thank you for a wonderful holiday at your van! We loved it and **** slept the best he had in a long time” ….. Mrs E, Solihull

“**** was amazed that you were there on Facebook whenever they needed you. He is in full remission now but we will never forget you! Thank you” Mr S, Luton

“Getting the special visit to the caravan from all the Haven characters was brilliant ****** had a great time & was so excited! Thank you” Mr M Birmingham

“Spoke to someone on DM on Twitter for weeks on end about my wife and they were great! Always there…” Mr GS Leicester

“The Holiday was great, kids loved it! No Cancer talk all week! It was like the old days thank you very much” Mr T Leeds

“The motor racing day was great, dad loved it. He was proper smiling when he got back. Thanks again” Mrs D, Manchester

100mph Zipwire Experience for Balls to Cancer

We would love you to join us up in the beautiful Snowdonia national park, strap yourself on to a one mile long steel wire and GO! you will travel up to 100 mph!

All you have to do is raise £100 minimum sponsorship and we’ll see you there!!

To sign up and book your place email us now at

To start fundraising just click here 

Who Has the Balls to Bungee??

We invite you to join us at Cliff Lakes Waterpark in Tamworth on the 13th or 14th of May 2017 and throw yourself of a platform 160 feet in the air over the beautiful lakes!

You can do it on your own or do it with your significant other or best friend! All you have to do is commit to raise a minimum of £100 per person.

If you wish to book a place just email us at now.

To start your fundraising just click here

Join our Parachute Jump 8/7/17

We invite you to join us on Saturday the 8th July at Hinton Airfield in Brackley. We are hoping to get a group of around 20 jumpers!

You will arrive go through a short safety training, then get kitted up and strapped to a very experienced instructor. Then enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

You will need to raise £300 minimum sponsorship and make a £50 deposit to book your place.

To sign up email us at

To start fundraising for your jump click here 

Giving to Balls to Cancer in your Will

Donating to Balls to Caner in your will is an amazing way of continuing your support into the future.

The donations can be big or small, anything from £100 to £20,000 from 1% of an estate to 100% or anything left over after other gifts have been made.

The fact is almost half of us will get cancer at some point, and have to go through some tough times before we hopefully get better. And that includes the people we love.

By putting a gift in your will to Balls to Cancer, you can make sure that we will be there for the people you love if they ever need us. With emotional, practical and financial support, given with warmth and expertise, so they can keep on living their life and feeling in control all the way through.

for more details on Will giving you can check out the government website for more information below.

Our Christmas Ball 2016. Will you be there???

Our fantastic annual Christmas Ball will  be held on 25-11-16  at the brilliant Park Hall Hotel in Wolverhampton. We have a great night entertainment for you from the brilliant Joanna Forest the classical crossover Soprano, The amazing Sean Heydon in our opinion THE very best magician in the UK & Finally the fantastic “Help” The Beatles tribute band, as well as a beautiful Christmas dinner.

All that for JUST £30 !!

Tickets are available from our online store here on the website. Book early as this will sell out fast

Our Celebrity guests so far …..

Dee Kelly – Big Brother

James Sutton – Hollyoaks

Jimmy Constable – 911

Matt Hoy – UB40

Lauren Socha – Misfits

Deano Baily – Ibiza Weekender

Chanel Cresswell – This is England

Pascal Craymer – Towie

Mel Eves – Ex Wolves Player

Recycling for Balls to Cancer

You can donate all your broken and unwanted jewellery to raise money for Balls to Cancer. If you have any gold, silver, odd earrings, broken chains, costume jewellery and watches, you can recycle them at no cost to you whilst making money for Balls to Cancer.

We Can Recycle:

. Any Jewellery – Gold, Silver, Costume Jewellery, watches, broken and damaged items (like odd earrings, snapped chains or items with missing stones).

. You can donate any unwanted bank notes from ANY country of any age, so all of those obsolete pre-euro notes are a perfect start!

Our Partners at Recycling for Good Causes will reuse and recycle the jewellery and bank notes, giving the proceeds to us, saving precious raw materials at the same time. If you would like to send your jewellery and bank note recycling to us just pop your items in to your own envelope or jiffy bag no larger than A5 and post it free of charge to :-







B77 4RP

** Please do not send coins to the freeboots address above as the postage costs will far outweigh your donation **


Donate your Stamps

You can now donate your used stamps to raise much needed funds for us. All kinds of stamps are welcome, on or off paper. Simply cut or carefully rip the postage stamp from the used envelope, being careful that you don’t damage the stamp, and once you have a collection pop them in an envelope making sure you have the correct postage to:

Balls to Cancer

PO Box 16992

Sutton Coldfield

B73 9YA

(*Postage needs to be applied*)


Recycling for good causes will arrange for collections for larger quantities of stamps weighing over 10kg, this equates to about 2 buckets full of stamps simply call 0800 633 5323 to arrange collection.

Alternatively if you would be interested in collecting larger items on behalf of Balls to Cancer you could start a recycling project with Recycling for good causes.

For further information:

Email :

Tel: 0800 633 5323


Our Christmas campaign

We are asking our supporters to join us in our christmas campaign to help YOUR local community.

We are asking you to get an empty box for the start of December and join us in doing a reverse advent calendar. What we want you to do is every day up to and including Christmas eve is to put something in that box from tinned food, packed food and toiletries (anything really that won’t perish) and on Christmas eve take that box in to your local food bank for them to distribute to the local community in need.

Please join us and spread the word. Lets spread a little love and happiness this Christmas

Thank you

Boxing for BTC

Here is your opportunity for you to get in the ring and raise money for Balls to Cancer and help us raise desperately needed funds to help cancer fighters nationwide.

If you feel you have what it takes then get signed up today here (Gents) and here (Ladies)

The events take place all over the country and are currently available in many locations

So come on ladies and Gentlemen get signed up!