In July 2004, at age 17, Aaron noticed a lump and swelling around his testicle.
“I remember that the swelling got so bad I could barely tolerate it,” he recalls. The area was tender and enlarged and he decided to go to his GP, who referred him to Northwick Park Hospital. “They did an ultrasound and they brought down an oncologist who was fairly certain it was cancer.” After further tests Aaron was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent testicle removal. This was followed by Chemotherapy treatment at Mount Vernon Hospital. Aaron was given a 97% chance of survival.
Aaron says “It took me some time to accept the diagnosis of cancer and to understand what it will mean. I couldn’t believe it, how could I have cancer? Did it not only affect the old and the unwell? Considering I never took an aspirin for a headache how could this be happening? But, here I was looking at harsh treatment and medication. But, I was determined to beat this”.
Remission lasted for only a short time, a year after diagnosis Aaron relapsed with Germ Cell Cancer. He explains “I found it harder the 2nd time round, I went through a spiral of depression. I am lucky to have loving family and friends around me, their support gave me the will power and determination to carry on.”
Aaron was told he would need a lifesaving stem cell transplant; this is a risky procedure but the only chance Aaron had of winning his battle with this terrible disease. He was given only a 40% chance of survival.
Because transplantation can be very hard on the body, Aaron underwent thorough physical examinations to ensure that he was strong enough to deal with the strains of transplantation.
“I knew I had a difficult battle ahead” Aaron says. “But I also knew I had one of the best teams of experts in the nation monitoring me constantly.”
Aaron had his lifesaving transplant at the Hammersmith Hospital in December 2005. On Christmas Eve, that same year, Aaron received the best Christmas present he could have wished for, he was in remission!
Aaron is now enjoying a happy healthy life. “It’s an incredible feeling, almost a miracle” he said. “I had two fatal diseases and was able to get rid of both of them.”