At the age of 24, Matt Ode was living a happy life as a personal trainer and had just started a relationship with his new girlfriend. After an unexpected trip to the hospital, he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer, which had spread to his small intestine.
Testicular cancer starts in the male gland known as the testicle or testis (two are called testicles, or testes). Though the disease can affect a man or boy at any age, it is most often found in men age 15 to 44 years old. It's fairly rare and very treatable. With early diagnosis, testicular cancer can be cured.
When Matt received the diagnosis, he stayed positive and determined to fight for his life as he started chemotherapy. After the chemotherapy treatments were complete, he had one more hurdle to get over - a very complex surgery to remove the remaining cancer from his body.
This is where the real battle started. He was in the ICU for over 40 days and in the hospital for 53 days where he had five more major surgeries causing a large open wound on his stomach.
For two weeks, he was unresponsive in a coma, suffering complete kidney and liver failure, and went into cardiac arrest. Nurses performed eight minutes of CPR to bring him back to life.
His family and girlfriend stayed by his side in the hospital watching him become weaker day after day. He went from weighing 185lbs to 110lbs over the course of three months, but Matt’s resolve to overcome cancer only grew stronger. He leaned on his family and faith as he slowly recovered and finally went home.
Today, Matt is cancer-free and is a motivational speaker demonstrating the power of hope and resilience in the face of a life-threatening disease.
Hear more about his life and story in this episode of the Urology Care Podcast.
Read the latest issue of Urology Health extra, the Urology Care Foundations patient-focused magazine.