Montreal teen shares cancer journey to raise awareness, funding for research

Click to play video: 'Montreal teen sharing cancer journey to raise awareness, funding for research' Montreal teen sharing cancer journey to raise awareness, funding for research
WATCH: One Montreal teen is turning a fight for his life into something positive. Not only is he trying to help raise awareness about his illness, but he's also trying to help uplift others in the process. Global News' Phil Carpenter reports – Apr 8, 2022

People try to find inspiration wherever they can, and for high school students Sara Del Vecchio and Katrina Laforce at Lakeside Academy in Lachine, Ryan Ross is someone to look up to.

Ry, as his family calls him, is a patient at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital where he is receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

“From what I was told it went up to my brain,” he told Global News from his bed at the hospital.

Ross, a student at John Abbott College, is 18 and said news of the diagnosis stunned him.

“When [the doctor] said that I have cancer, I mean that hits you,” he explained.
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“There’s no words to describe that feeling because of how much impact that word has.”

It’s been five weeks since Ross’ world was turned upside down.  While it has been stressful for the family, his mother, Andrea Scouten, has noted a change in her son.

Read more: Quebec man stuck in Mexico with cancer after family says back pain dismissed at Canadian hospital

“I don’t know where it’s come from,” she said, smiling.  “Honestly we have no idea.”

She said his positive outlook has buoyed the family’s spirits.

Now Ross is trying to pass on that confidence in a set of videos on YouTube and he hopes others find hope in his messages.

“Maybe a kid in a hospital bed, in a hospital gown [like me] with my hair falling out because of the chemo I’m doing, in the exact same position and not knowing how to deal with it, can see how I’m dealing with it,” he pointed out.
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He added that the videos are also meant to raise awareness about testicular cancer, which, according to Ross’ doctor, oncologist Raghu Rajan, is the most common cancer in young men.

Read more: Research done in Montreal could lead to treatment for aggressive form of breast cancer

“It is actually becoming more common over time,” he pointed out.  “People don’t really know why but it is being more recognized.  The success rate has not gotten any worse.  It’s a very curable cancer.”

Because of Ross’ videos, Del Vecchio and Laforce now know about it.

“Really opened our eyes and made us realize, like, this is a serious issue that men have to deal with,” Laforce said.

They’ve been inspired to raise funds to donate to a testicular cancer charity in Ross’ name.

Ross’ family also plans to donate $1,000 to the Cedar’s Cancer Centre as soon as his YouTube channel gets 1,000 subscribers.

Click to play video: 'Ask an Expert: Testicular Cancer Awareness Month' Ask an Expert: Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
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