Michael had a wide network of friends, in part because he was outgoing and had a talent for making people laugh and feel good about themselves. He loved to help others without expecting anything in return, but he was also the type that didn’t want to burden others with his own problems.
It was summer 2016 when Mike started feeling intermittent pain in one of his testicles, which he attributed to his strenuous workouts. He eventually mentioned this pain to his girlfriend Meghan – who he would later marry – and she suggested he go see his doctor.
However, because the pain would come and go, Mike wasn’t overly concerned, so he didn’t go to the doctor. The pattern of intermittent pain continued. It had to be from his workouts, right?
On Memorial Day weekend 2017, Mike went to a pair of Boston Red Sox games, but was uncomfortable in his seat for much of the time. The pain in his testicle had intensified and he discovered a lump.
At this point, Mike went to see his primary care physician and was quickly diagnosed with stage 2 non-seminoma testicular cancer. It was then that he realized he had been feeling symptoms for nearly a year.
By the Friday after Memorial Day, he was scheduling his surgery. Although his cancer was an aggressive type and had already spread to his lymph nodes, Mike’s doctors were confident they had caught it early enough to treat successfully.
He had surgery and chemotherapy but his follow-up scans in November 2017 showed that Mike’s cancer had spread to other lymph nodes. He had a six-hour surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the back of his abdomen and was declared cancer-free.
Doctors continued to monitor Mike through blood tests and scans, and in April 2018 they found his cancer was back again, so he underwent aggressive, high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell treatments.
That fall, Mike had back and abdominal pain and found out his cancer had returned again. He joined a clinical trial, but a surgery in January 2019 revealed that Mike’s cancer had become metastatic and inoperable. There were no more treatment options left. In late April, Mike passed away.
Mike’s family believes he fell victim to a common ideology among younger people that he was too young and healthy to have a serious illness, such as cancer, and that any issues would resolve on their own.
They feel that the only thing that could have saved Mike’s life was 3 Steps Detect and finding his cancer earlier. They set up the Michael Bodge Tribute Fund to fund early cancer detection education programs and carry on Mike’s legacy of helping others.
- intermittent pain in one testicle