Search icon


28th Mar 2018

Twin 23-year-old brothers tell their story about being diagnosed with cancer just days apart

"one in a million chance"

Denise Curtin

Twins Ryan and Sean Collard are both currently receiving treatment after being diagnosed just days apart from each other with testicular cancer.

In September 2017, Ryan, a 23-year-old who has just graduated from college was rushed to hospital three weeks after various GP appointments, when cancer was finally detected and diagnosed as rapidly spreading.

Ryan is currently undergoing stem cell treatment to try and control the cancer, which has spread to his stomach and lungs in an effort to stop it from spreading elsewhere.

His brother Sean on the other hand began to notice a twinge in his groin, one visit to the GP later, he found himself being rushed to hospital to get an operation to remove cancer found in his testicles.

The twins are now beginning 2018 with a difference, their mission, to inform, educate and advise young men, their parents, siblings and friends on the importance of seeing your GP if you feel you have any discomfort below and to not be embarrassed as it could safe your life.

Their mom, 51-year-old Lesley, who has been left heartbroken since the diagnosis, has moved to London to be with her son Ryan as he undergoes a series operation. Speaking about last September, a month she will never forget, Lesley said to The Mirror:

“If tests had been done at the first hospital in Sunderland, he would still have cancer. But we feel it would be at a much earlier stage, not stage four.”

Although Sean’s cancer was removed successfully and he is now on the mend with just regular check-ups, Ryan is still fighting for his life. Speaking to The Mirror he said:

“I have been stripped of year of my life, I may not be able to have kids, so many things go with it.

“The symptoms were not screaming out testicular cancer – a sore back, passing out – so I am not angry about that.

“But I feel there were not enough tests done when I first went in.”

The twin brothers have now collectively gathered £12,000 for Ryan’s treatment and plan to continue raising awareness and advising people to talk about testicular cancer.

Speaking on the disease, Sean said:

“If it was not for Ryan, I would have just put off the check ups and then I would have been in the same boat. You do not expect this in the prime of life.

“I remember sleeping on the hospital floor next to him when he was starting his treatment and having to carry him to the toilet, he was in so much pain.”

According to the Marie Keating foundation, approximately 170 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer here in Ireland every year. The cancer is most common among men aged 15-years-old to 34-years-old. Testicular cancer has a high survival rate however, the longer it is left untreated, the quicker this rate begins to drop.

For all information on testicular cancer plus an Irish helpline, you can find it here.