(CBSDFW.COM) – By now, you may have noticed men across North Texas with a bit more facial hair, such as CBS 11 chief meteorologist Scott Padgett.
These men may be taking part in the Movember Foundation challenge. It’s a challenge to raise awareness about men’s mental health issues, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40 years old.
It’s a disease that one North Texas man knows firsthand.
“‘I’ll make sure your son learns how to shoot a rifle if you can’t. I’ll make sure he learns how to hit a baseball. I’ll make sure that he knows… whatever.’ It meant a lot to know that I had men there for me because… they are young. They are vulnerable,” said Dusty Hall.
These are words a 33-year-old father of two never wants to hear. But they are words Hall heard as he battled testicular cancer.
Back in September 2015, Hall, a health insurance consultant, was doing his monthly self-wellness check when he felt something that wasn’t normal.
“It was the size of the end of the fork prong or a pinhead if you can think,” said Hall.
Small in size. Gigantic in impact.
He knew he had to take action fast. There was a doctor visit, imaging and then surgery just two days later.
“I’ll never forget waking up in the OR where he said, ‘first off, that was the smallest tumor I have ever seen in my whole professional career. It was cancerous, and your friend saved your life.’ Those were his exact words,” said Hall.
To celebrate a successful surgery, Hall, his wife Christine and sons Declan and Aiden went to Disney World. But, in the happiest place on Earth, they found out the fight wasn’t done.
Hall’s cancer spread to his lymph nodes and his lungs. It was a setback, but that wasn’t stopping him or his wife.
“That was definitely our attitude going in because you know what this is going to be… something that God will lead us through and that we will get through it as a couple… as a family,” said Hall.
In nine weeks of chemo, although all his hair was gone, the fighting spirit wasn’t.
The smiles and laughter continue. His soccer coaching continues too.
Hall continues his mission of raising health awareness, reminding men that early detection is key and that “manning up” doesn’t mean skipping the doctor visit.
“Our masculinity doesn’t come in the size of our biceps or what we have otherwise. It’s how we serve others,” said Hall.
Hall and his family are all a few years older now, and while still the same, they are forever changed.
“Every decision either gets you closer or farther away from Heaven. And so now, from that point forward, that’s how we made our decisions,” said Hall.
In February 2018, Hall will reach the two-year mark since his last chemo treatment, which should be in the remission state.
If you would like to help men like Hall across the country and around the world, click here to visit Scott Padgett’s Movember page.