Olympic gold medalist Greg Rutherford has spoken of the terrifying moment he found a lump on his locked testicle.
The terrified 33-year-old – who won the Celebrity MasterChef in 2019 – admits his sanity “took a beating” as he desperately tried to ignore it out of fear.
The father-of-two couldn’t even cope with confiding in his wife Susie Verrill until “physical pain and worry” forced him to turn to a friend.
Thankfully, the bump turned out to be a cyst – and now retired long jump champion Greg is urging his fans to get checked out.
Posting a photo of his family on Instagram, Greg said, “I’m a lucky man. I have a wonderful, loving family and have enjoyed years of success in a sport I loved.
“I’ve always felt a bit physically invincible… but during the lockdown, that invincibility took a massive hit.
“As we were all locked in our homes, doing our best to stabilize the horrific scenario created by Covid, to put it bluntly, I found a lump on one of my balls.
“Rather than accept that it was there, I ignored it and created distractions like re-training and using my physical strength to conquer the unknown.
“Obviously it didn’t work and my sanity took a bit of a beating when the fear set in.
“I didn’t tell Susie or anyone around me until the physical pain and worry got the better of me, then I contacted a friend (Leo Barker) who had severely suffered from testicular cancer.
“He said what I already knew… GO AND GET HIM CHECKED!” After an appointment, blood and a CT scan, I was told it was cysts! BLOOD CYSTS. But above all nothing to seriously fear. I don’t think I ‘I felt relief like that. ”
Greg added, “I’m just here to ask everyone to check it out. Even now, during a pandemic, when I think it’s safe to say we’re afraid of wasting time on doctors and nurses.
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“If you’re a dude, grab them and make sure there’s nothing wrong. And if your partner isn’t checking their own balls, maybe offer to do it for them.
“I feel incredibly grateful that I can say it’s nothing serious, but I’ve also realized that if worrying is a natural response, it doesn’t solve anything.
“Keep checking and if you find something, take it seriously. ”