This post was written by our contributor Max Mallory’s father, Chuck Mallory. Chuck, thank you for sharing another piece of Max’s story with us.
Max was a newer member of Lacuna Loft and was in the process of writing for the site when he passed away on May 20, 2016, at age 22.
He had been diagnosed in Oct. 2015 with Stage 3C testicular cancer and fought bravely, doing well through two major surgeries (RPLND and brain surgery) and regular chemo. But during high-dose chemo, his brain tumors returned and caused a massive brain hemorrhage.
I hesitated to write this tribute for two reasons:
1. There is enough fear for a young adult with cancer and I don’t want to generate more fear.
2. “Survivor’s Guilt” is real, and I don’t want anyone else to feel it.
Max’s mother, brother, and I want all those who are fighting cancer to survive–especially the readers here, who have their whole life ahead of them and need all the hope possible.
Max had even planned, after recovery, to go into young adult cancer awareness. We have established a foundation in his name, the Max Mallory Foundation, to continue his efforts. An overlooked area of awareness that we will work on is related to pediatrics. Max wasn’t one who discovered a lump and ignored it. When he seemed born with one testicle, we had surgery at age 6 months and were told that the other testicle was never there–he was born with only one. We found out after diagnosis that he had an undescended testicle all along. I have since found three other young men in their 20s with the same story. They had the same surgery, were told it never was there, but it was–and an undescended testicle is a breeding ground for cancer. And doctors are still missing it.
To all of you fighting the battle: know that surely Max is with you in your fighting spirit, looking down from above, his positive, upbeat spirit shining on you, wishing you health, happiness and a long life. That is what all of us want for you. Max made a document like a will three days after he was diagnosed, Oct. 25, 2015. He said in that note: “No matter what happens, never give up.” He didn’t, and neither should you.
The Max Mallory Foundation has been set up to provide testicular cancer awareness especially in cases of pediatric testicular torsion, a preventive form of testicular cancer. To donate please go here.