Driver Todd Szegedy won’t be the only new face on the racetrack for Rob Fuller Motorsports at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11 and 12. Brian Regan, an 18-year-old testicular cancer survivor and 15-40 Connection representative, will be featured on the No. 15 entry in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races.
Rob Fuller Motorsports and 15-40 Connection have teamed up to feature young cancer survivors throughout the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in an effort to raise awareness of the obstacles teens and young adults face to diagnose cancer at earlier stages.
Heading into his sophomore year of college, Brian Regan, a Dunstable, Mass. native, did a self-exam and noticed a lump.
“I wasn’t someone who typically did self-exams, but I happened to check myself out one day in the shower because of a PSA I heard on the radio and I actually felt something,” said Brian. “Something that I swear hadn’t been there before.”
He made a routine appointment for a sports physical for the upcoming season without alarming his family about this finding.
“I told the doctor what I had noticed,” Brian continued. “She did a physical exam and simply told me there was nothing there. This made me angry. I knew there was something there and my gut was telling me that something was wrong, so I asked what we could do to make sure that there was definitely nothing there. After a short conversation she sent me down to the lab to have an ultrasound. The test revealed that I had a tumor on my right testicle. While scary news, I was happy I had fought for the ultrasound because otherwise that tumor would have gone undetected.”
Brian went on to have surgery right away to remove the tumor and later found that it was cancerous. In fact, it was an aggressive form of testicular cancer that was treatable but is known for coming back once its treated.
“My treatment was not pleasant, I ended up having 13 chemotherapy treatments in three weeks (11 of which were given in the first 5 days) and was extremely sick for the following weeks, but I am here and that is largely because I advocated for myself and trusted my instincts.”
Tricia Laursen, Executive Director at 15-40 Connection, noted that this type of story is not uncommon among teens and young adults.
“We advocate that you know your body better than anyone else,” said Laursen. “Young adults run into many obstacles from doctor’s dismissal to a lack of frame of reference to know what an early warning sign of cancer can look or feel like. The key is to understand the warning signs, act quickly and be an advocate for your health. If you have encountered a change in your body that lasts for two weeks, take action and tell your doctor.”
Earlier this season, Rob Fuller Motorsports featured Josh Bell, a leukemia survivor, at Daytona and Dave McGrath, a brain cancer survivor, at Thompson Speedway.
“I have really enjoyed the partnership with 15-40 Connection because we are working to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Rob Fuller, team owner. “Brian, Josh and Dave took all the right steps in order to get an early diagnosis and it’s important for us to share their stories with others. I’m certainly looking forward to meeting Brian and honoring him at the track.”
Race fans are urged to read Brian’s full story at 15-40.org and share it with those they care about. Race weekend updates will be provided at the 15-40 Connection Facebook and Rob Fuller Motorsports Facebook pages.
15-40 Connection is celebrating its fifth anniversary and will hold its annual Mark & David Ungerer Golf Tournament, Gala and Auction on July 13th and 14th. For more information, visit 15-40.org.
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