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The testicular cancer survivor celebrates the birth of his miracle baby


A twin who was told he was sterile after being diagnosed with testicular cancer within days of his brother's diagnosis is celebrating the birth of his "miracle baby."

Sean Collard and his twin Ryan received devastating news that they both had the same condition in 2017, in a gruesome twist of fate that led them both to believe they could not have children.

The Hetton, Tyne and Wear office worker was told by doctors that he had remained sterile after intensive chemotherapy and had accepted that his dreams of becoming a father might never be fulfilled.

But now the 26-year-old welcomed his newborn son Lucas on September 15 after his five-year-old partner Sophie Campbell became unexpectedly pregnant just 14 months after the all-clear.

A twin who was told they would be sterile after being diagnosed with testicular cancer within days of their brother celebrating the birth of their "miracle baby". In the picture Sean Collard with his five-year-old partner Sophie Campbell and their newborn baby

Sean Collard and his twin Ryan (pictured left to right) received devastating news that they both had the same condition in 2017, in a gruesome twist of fate that made them both believe they could not have children

Sean Collard and his twin Ryan (pictured left to right) received devastating news that they both had the same condition in 2017, in a gruesome twist of fate that made them both believe they could not have children

The office worker (pictured with his newborn) from Hetton, Tyne and Wear was told by doctors that he had remained infertile after intensive chemotherapy and that he had accepted that his dreams of becoming a father may never come true

The office worker (pictured with his newborn) from Hetton, Tyne and Wear was told by doctors that he had remained infertile after intensive chemotherapy and that he had accepted that his dreams of becoming a father might never come true

Sean said, “Becoming a father is the best feeling ever. There was a time when I never thought I could have a family, but Lucas is our little miracle.

“It was a huge shock to find out, but it was great news at the same time. I was told my fertility might return at some point, but it was so early that I didn't have a test to determine it. & # 39;

The family's nightmare with cancer began in September 2017 when Ryan, an elementary school teacher, began experiencing power outages.

The diagnosis came so late that he started chemotherapy near his home in London the next day and had no opportunity to collect his sperm.

During a visit to his brother in the hospital in London, Sean developed symptoms himself and only 20 days later he received the terrible news that he too had cancer.

But now the 26-year-old welcomed his newborn son Lucas on September 15 after his five-year-old partner Sophie Campbell became unexpectedly pregnant just 14 months after the all-clear. In the picture, Sean visits Ryan in the hospital

But now the 26-year-old welcomed his newborn son Lucas on September 15 after his five-year-old partner Sophie Campbell became unexpectedly pregnant just 14 months after the all-clear. In the picture, Sean visits Ryan in the hospital

Sean (pictured left with Ryan) said, “Becoming a father is the best feeling ever. There was a time when I never thought I could have a family, but Lucas is our little miracle. & # 39;

Sean (pictured left with Ryan) said, “Becoming a father is the best feeling ever. There was a time when I never thought I could have a family, but Lucas is our little miracle. & # 39;

"It was just a terrible time for both of us," said Sean. "My cancer was detected at an early stage, so things looked a lot darker for Ryan and he had to undergo stem cell treatment, but we did it together."

Sean was able to collect sperm before starting treatment – but didn't have to use it and has since offered to be a donor for his twin, though Ryan and girlfriend Sophie Huggett are currently undecided about their future family plans.

"It's bittersweet because Ryan loves kids and he would like to be a dad himself, but his fertility hasn't returned and we don't know if it ever will," said Sean.

“After treatment, you are initially sterile and there is a risk that fertility will not return.

The family's nightmare with cancer began in September 2017 when Ryan, an elementary school teacher, began experiencing power outages. In the picture Sean with Lucas

The family's nightmare with cancer began in September 2017 when Ryan, an elementary school teacher, began experiencing power outages. In the picture Sean with Lucas

The diagnosis came so late that he started chemotherapy near his home in London the next day and had no opportunity to collect his sperm. In the picture Sean, Lucas and Sophie

The diagnosis came so late that he started chemotherapy near his home in London the next day and had no opportunity to collect his sperm. In the picture Sean, Lucas and Sophie

During a visit to his brother in the hospital in London, Sean developed symptoms himself and only 20 days later he received the terrible news that he too had cancer. In the picture Sean, Sophie and Lucas

During a visit to his brother in the hospital in London, Sean developed symptoms himself and only 20 days later he received the terrible news that he too had cancer. In the picture Sean, Sophie and Lucas

& # 39; That was massively scary for me. I've always wanted a family and Ryan and I both grew up wanting what our parents had with us.

“Aside from the fact that you cannot be cured, one of the greatest worries is when you say you cannot have children. I couldn't imagine my life without her.

“I know I frozen my sperm, but you only get two free trials with the NHS and if it hadn't worked it would have been expensive. We had no guarantee that we would have been successful. & # 39;

Tragically, 25-year-old Sophie, who is unemployed, experienced a miscarriage in 2019, and the couple feared that damaged sperm could be the cause.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF TESTICULAR CANCER?

In the early stages, testicular cancer typically presents as a hard lump or swelling in a testicle.

The lump is usually painless and can vary significantly in size, but is typically the size of a pea and located on the front or side of the testicle.

Not all people with testicular cancer have a lump in their testicles.

  • Any enlargement or change in the appearance or feel of the testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull pain in the testicles, lower abdomen (stomach), or groin area
  • A build-up of fluid in the scrotum.

Symptoms can be subtle and therefore easily overlooked. This is why it is so important to become familiar with how your testicles are feeling when they are healthy.

If the cancer is not detected early, it can spread to other parts of the body and you may develop symptoms in parts of the body other than the affected testicle.

These include:

  • Back pain
  • shortness of breath
  • A decreased libido
  • Fatigue
  • A cough
  • Swelling and tenderness in the chest

The good news, however, is that testicular cancer is very treatable with a cure rate of around 95 percent.

Source: The Josh Carrick Foundation

Sean (left) was able to store sperm before starting treatment - but didn't have to use it and has since offered to be a donor for his twin, though Ryan (right) and girlfriend Sophie Huggett are currently undecided about their future family plans

Sean (left) was able to store sperm before starting treatment – but didn't have to use it and has since offered to be a donor for his twin, though Ryan (right) and girlfriend Sophie Huggett are currently undecided about their future family plans

"It's bittersweet because Ryan loves kids and he would like to be a dad himself, but his fertility hasn't returned and we don't know if it ever will," said Sean. In the picture Ryan in the hospital

"Fortunately, we didn't have to go the IVF route because we naturally got pregnant again, but I would have done whatever it took," added Sean.

Lucas arrived on September 15 weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces, although Sean wasn't finally allowed to meet his son until a day later due to coronavirus restrictions at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

"It was overwhelming to hold him," said Sean. & # 39; He was absolutely perfect and I'm still at my peak. It's just an amazing feeling. I want to try to achieve more right away, although I don't know what Sophie would say. & # 39;

In 2019, Sean and Ryan formed a charity called Cancer Lads to raise awareness about testicular cancer and encourage men to look for symptoms.

Tragically, 25-year-old Sophie, who is unemployed, experienced a miscarriage in 2019, and the couple feared that damaged sperm could be the cause. Sean pictured with Ryan, right

Tragically, 25-year-old Sophie, who is unemployed, experienced a miscarriage in 2019, and the couple feared that damaged sperm could be the cause. Sean pictured with Ryan, right

"Fortunately, we didn't have to go the IVF route because we naturally got pregnant again, but I would have done whatever it took," added Sean (pictured with his mother and brother)

In 2019, Sean and Ryan (pictured together) founded a charity called Cancer Lads to raise awareness about testicular cancer and encourage men to look for symptoms

In 2019, Sean and Ryan (pictured together) founded a charity called Cancer Lads to raise awareness about testicular cancer and encourage men to look for symptoms

And Sean is painfully aware of this after having a son himself.

He said, “It was fantastic for us to have a little boy, but I'll always worry, especially if Ryan and I both get it, it's obviously a strong gene.

"I'll talk to the specialists about that, and when Lucas is older we'll have this conversation."

Now Sean is looking forward to Ryan seeing baby Lucas once coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

"Ryan is going to be the best uncle ever," he said. "Seeing them together will be amazing."

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