Bath City fan signs up to Get a Life campaign
A Bath City fan has signed up to a campaign backed by the club to encourage people to take greater control of their health.
The Get a Life campaign, launched by The Bath Chronicle and Sirona Care and Health, offers advice and information to those wanting to improve their fitness, give up smoking or lose weight.
The football club has put together a calendar encouraging fans and players to take care of their health, with messages – including the importance of regularly checking testicles.
Fan Darren Haines, from Oldfield Park, knows the importance of this as six months ago he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
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The 47-year-old had an operation, and is now on a three-year care plan with monthly blood tests at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Mr Haines admits to not doing anything about the lump for six months, and is keen to emphasise the importance of not ignoring the warning signs.
He said: "I didn't want to do anything about it because I was scared so I left it and left it."
When Mr Haines finally told his wife Sally, she persuaded him to go to the doctor and treatment progressed fast with the operation to remove the testicle just over three weeks from his first medical check.
Mr Haines said: "I don't want people to do what I did, which was just sit there with a lump in my testicle. I cannot praise my wife enough; I have got a lot to thank her for. The main stumbling block for me was the thought of dropping my trousers and pants – the only person you want to see you without clothes on is your wife.
"The problem is men just don't go to the doctor.
"My message is if you do find a lump – don't put it to the back of your mind, do go to the doctors.
"If I found another one now I'd be straight there – I'm passionate about getting the message across."
Bath City club chairman Manda Rigby hopes his story will inspire others and said: "Darren was one of the first people I met at the club.
"He is a true fan, very well known, very much a man's man, and I am so pleased the outcome for him has been so positive, and that he is using his experience to spread the word about men's health to football fans and beyond."
Sirona's health improvement service manager Martyn Price said: "It's really good that Darren has come forward with his story."