Welcome to the Band of Ballers! In this series on ABSOT, I’m turning over control to some other ballsy testicular cancer survivors and patients who have inspired me with their work in advocacy and awareness during and after their diagnosis. This month’s feature is all about Sean Kimerling, who served as the inspiration for the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation. Enjoy!
Sean Kimerling was a 1988 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Georgetown University, a graduate of USC’s School of Journalism, two-time Emmy award winning anchor of WPIX 11 sports and pre-home game announcer for the NY Mets. At 37, Sean was on top of the world, excited about his career, close to a group of “good old friends,” very much in love with his girlfriend, and close to his family. He was thrilled professionally, having made it to the NYC market in a very short time. He loved nothing better than to have brunch with the family, watch a Mets game with his brother Josh or tease his sister Aimee. He was crazy about his nieces Sophie and Abby and would do anything they asked.
Sean was not only handsome, smart, charismatic and amazingly knowledgeable about sports, he was a caring and compassionate person. He mentored many young broadcasters, was honored to do public service announcements for good causes and supported and enjoyed being with young people. He was widely loved and respected.
Sean’s world came crashing down in August of 2003.
He had felt something in his testicle about a year and a half earlier, went to his general practitioner and was told it was nothing. More recently, he had been bothered by back pain, which he assumed was due to a sports injury, and a doctor he went to prescribed medication for a kidney infection. Wrongly diagnosed for a long time, when the pain became unbearable, Sean was finally diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer. He died, just 1 month after being diagnosed on September 9, 2003. He was only 37
Sean’s death affected so many people. There was an outpouring of grief from his PIX11 fans. Letters poured in from people he helped and knew from all over the country. Of course, his family and close friends were heartbroken—and continue to miss him every day.
In memory of Sean, his family and friends formed The Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation.
The goal is to promote self-examination of the testicles and knowledge of TC symptoms for early diagnosis and cure. If Sean had known the symptoms, if he had gone to the right specialist, he would be alive today. Although he did go for a medical exam because he thought he felt something in his testicle, the general practitioner missed the diagnosis and didn’t send him to a urologist. Other symptoms, like his back pain, were attributed to sports injury.
Awareness of testicular cancer, self-examination and early diagnosis with the right specialist IS the CURE. Testicular cancer diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages can be up to 99% cured and men can go on to healthy lives, including having children.
Sean told his family in the hospital that he found his cause. He was going to make sure that men, especially young men, had information and awareness about TC. We are carrying out his wishes to work for a time that no man needs to die of testicular cancer.
We are proud that for 18 years we have been carrying on his work and saving the lives of men, often young men like Sean who have their whole lives ahead of them.
The mission of the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation is to raise awareness of TC for early detection and cure, by promoting testicular self-examinations and follow-up with experienced specialists. We do this through engaging young men with humor and information through social media, visiting schools, health fairs, widely distributing our Check ‘Em Shower Cards and our famous “Running of the Balls” events, 5k and 10k runs that have brought out thousands of runners over the years to “spread the word to Check ‘Em.” We look forward to getting out there again with our mascot, MR. CHECK ‘EM, who is a giant testicle that people love to take pictures with. Our social media presence has attracted thousands of followers across several platforms that are eager to learn about testicular cancer and spread that information to their friends and family.
Anyone interested in educational ball jokes should follow their accounts on Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check ‘Em Shower Cards for self-examination of the testes are free for the asking. Please visit www.seankimerling.org for more information about how to obtain. Until next time, Carpe Scrotiem!
Know someone (or even yourself!) who is supporting TC awareness and would be willing to share their story? Drop their name, contact, and why they should be featured into this Google Form and I’ll reach out to them and/or you!
This post originally appeared on A Ballsy Sense of Tumor on October 18, 2021. It is republished with permission.