Torsten Koehler (57), a testicular cancer survivor and author from Cape Town, founded non-profit organisation, Love Your Nuts in 2014, to create awareness around the ‘shy killer’, that affects 1 in 250 men.
Torsten was confronted with cancer in 1995, with no internet access, no support groups on social media and limited information, which made an already difficult journey even more isolating.
Torsten thankfully survived his cancer diagnosis due to early detection, and made it his mission to teach his sex education students in Namibia about cancer, as testicular cancer commonly affects men between the ages of 15-45.
“Men in general don’t talk about their feelings or their health, and for young men this is even more true. Young men often feel that they need to stand their ground, show they are strong and buy into the ‘men don’t cry’ fallacy. What I tried to do with my classes is to break the stigma around this taboo topic and shatter the shyness around testicular cancer”
“My book ‘Love Your Nuts – Testicular Cancer touched my Life’ was released in 2004. Years later a past student who was 16 contacted me and told me that he had testicular cancer and that I saved his life. This inspired me to launch my non-profit a decade later” – says Torsten
For the past 8 years, Love Your Nuts has toured schools with their Cancer Smart School Programme and has reached over 34 700 individuals face-to-face at various events with their message.
“Knowledge and early detection are the best weapons against cancer. If we can educate our children early in their lives, the survival rate will be much higher. Changing the behaviour of young people by teaching them to look after their health will lead to a healthier next generation who will uplift their communities.” – says Torsten
Crowdfunding on BackaBuddy
To transform their school program, which teaches children about various forms of cancer, into an educational gaming app, Love Your Nuts has partnered with The Centre for Community Technologies at Nelson Mandela University to develop an app prototype.
In need of R400 000 to begin phase one of the project, Love Your Nuts has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, in hopes to reach remote areas in South Africa and around the globe, where information and medical resources lack the most.
The end goal, Torsten says, is to save as many young lives as possible.
“Funds raised will be used to develop a functional prototype that can help us secure support from larger investors, get legal advice to protect the rights of the children who will be using our app, consult with medical experts to revise the cancer information and to keep it up to date and cover the cost of testing and further development” – says Torsten
With initial support 14 donors have already contributed R2400 towards the crowdfunding campaign, which is expected to have tremendous impact.
Torsten speaks about the importance of early detection:
“With today’s technology, we can educate individuals about the significance of early detection of cancer:
- It’s less pain and trauma for the patient.
- It’s less of a financial burden for the patient (the majority of South Africans don’t have medical aid),
- Bed occupancy in hospitals is shorter, which cuts costs for the government.
- Treatment is shorter and a cost-saver for medical aid and government
- If cancer is detected very early, in some cases, no treatment (chemo, etc.) is needed”
Support this campaign on BackaBuddy: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/love-your-nuts
Alternatively, donate via Snapscan: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/LoveYourNutsGamingApp
All Donors are eligible for a Section 18A tax certificate issued by Love Your Nuts.
Connect with Love Your Nuts
The goal of Love Your Nuts is to raise awareness of (testicular) cancer by educating communities about the rarely spoken about cancer that often remains undetected in young adults due to our diverse society in South Africa, where cultural taboos, stigmas and a lack of knowledge about the subject is widespread.
We support men diagnosed with testicular cancer emotionally. It is often easier to share thoughts and fears with a survivor than a family member or friend. Building a network of survivors nationwide/worldwide that support patients is an ongoing process. If you are a survivor and like to help, please get in touch.
Connect with Love Your Nuts
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