Thomas Cantley is rolling across the country with a 6-foot-high 'testicle' in a bid to raise awareness about the type of cancer he managed to beat thanks to early detection.
Cantley, 31, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009, believes other men could be as fortunate as he if they hear his message. He's pushing the inflatable prop along roadsides, crossing the country to spread the word.
"It's a 96 percent survival rate if caught early, so when you catch it early at stage one, its not progressive, it's contained," Cantley told KSBW.
Cantley began his tour across the country Sept. 4 starting near his home in Santa Monica, Calif., and heading for New York. Currently in New Orleans, Cantley has raised more than $2,000 and is planning on raising at least $15,000 for the Testicular Cancer Foundation.
Cantley hopes to encourage “men to be proactive and do a monthly self-exam of their testicles for lumps, hardness or swelling.”
Ultimately, his goal is to make it across the country without spending money on transportation, lodging or food. He hopes the people he meets on the way to New York City will donate and help with his journey.
"My goal is to get across the country [without spending] any money," Cantley said. "I want people to come and [say], 'I'll book a hotel room, I'll take you out to lunch, I'll fill up your gas tank' or whatever. I want those physical connections. I don't just want people to donate to me, I want people to connect with me.
According to BallPush.org, Cantley has traveled 2,147 miles, received 122 donated meals and been given 26 donated accommodations.
"I'm doing it for these people, these survivors, these young guys," Cantley said. “I want to prove you don't need billions of dollars or the promise of a cure to make a difference in the fight against cancer. I also want to prove community is built on compassion and kindness."