Mesquite High junior battles testicular cancer - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Mesquite High junior battles testicular cancer

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Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:42 pm | Updated: 9:01 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

School friends, family members and city workers are rallying around a Mesquite High School junior who is battling cancer.

Jordon Perry is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a recurrence of cancer that doctors discovered earlier this year.

The 16-year-old varsity soccer player was first diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was a sophomore.

He had a testicle surgically removed, and has been monitored for signs that the cancer could recur.

Regular CT scans and blood work since the surgery showed that indicators - including an elevated white blood cell count - were positive.

Doctors discovered a germ cell tumor in Perry's lymph node this fall.

"The cancer spread ... like it did with Lance Armstrong," said his dad, Don Perry, a Gilbert firefighter.

Perry's fellow firefighters and Jordon's school friends have been selling dark-green rubber bracelets with "Jordon's Fight" imprinted on them to show support and to raise money to the family.

Linda Abbott, a former teacher of Jordon's and a Gilbert town councilwoman, said she has raised about $800 selling the bracelets in her classroom - not only because it's a good cause, but because it teaches kids social responsibility like other fund drives she spearheads.

The school's soccer team started selling the bracelets for their popular teammate who has talked about becoming a veterinarian.

"We are all going to stay very positive. I think he feels the love and support around him," Abbott said.

The family has collected around $5,000 to help pay for the expensive medical procedures, Don Perry said.

CT scans, hospital stays, traveling to the hospital and eating out during the hospital stays are unexpected expenses.

Future medical costs for Jordon are not clear either, Don Perry said.

Chemotherapy can lead to sterilization in men. If that complication arises, Jordon could be faced with using in vitro fertilization later in life. That's an expensive process, Don Perry said.

Jordon was not available for comment because he was hospitalized recently for what his parents hope could be the last round of his chemotherapy cycle that started late this fall.

The chemotherapy is grueling and makes his son feel run down and tired during the cycles, Don Perry said.

The good news is that the form of cancer that Jordon is battling is highly treatable.

Medical texts say the cancer can be successfully treated more than 90 percent of the time when diagnosed early, which was the case for Jordon.

Don Perry said that he hoped his son's illness also will create awareness among others about testicular cancer - which affects men 15 to 39 years old.

Doctors recommend that men give themselves a testicle self-exam once a month. Any unusual lumps should be reported to a doctor.

Other symptoms of the disease include a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the abdomen, a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum, or enlargement or tenderness of the nipples, according to the WebMD Web site.

In addition to spreading awareness, Don Perry said it's important for people to know his son has had bouts of self-pity during his battle, but that he realizes in the grand scheme of things he's fortunate.

In his hospital stays, he has had roommates with terminal cancer.

"He realizes things could definitely be worse," Don Perry said. "When you put it into comparison, it is very minor."

Donations also can be made at any Wells Fargo branch, account 9042992348.

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