“ Live and follow your passion. Stop playing the blame game (doesn’t matter on what) cause only you can make a change to your life.
Torsten Koehler is a “Testicular mAss Kicker” from South Africa! He grew up on a cattle farm in Namibia. He was also a teacher for 15 years in Namibia. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. In 1991, 1997-1998 and 2006 he had the unique experience of touring through 48 countries on all the continents. He began a career in graphic designer in Cape Town in 2005. In January 2017, he will be following his passion for testicular cancer education – by focusing his energy full time to the “Love your Nuts” project. We were very honored to meet him online and feature him on our website.
mK: Thanks for doing this Torsten! How did you find out about your diagnosis?
TK: I was preparing lessons for sex education and read about testicular cancer in a children’s book. While reading the chapter I (obviously) checked my nuts and found a little lump.
mK: So… teaching sex education saved your life… What were your symptoms?
TK: No pain no nothing – just a little lump on surface of the testicle.
mK: How are you doing now? What is the mission of Love you Nuts?
TK: I was diagnosed 21 years ago. Today I’m a happy chappy! Love your Nuts mission is to educate and make men aware of this young man’s cancer. (Most common between 15 and 38)
mK: There are lots of great testicular cancer organizations out there! If you haven’t yet, you should connect with: the Testicular Cancer Foundation, the Testicular Cancer Society, the Robin Cancer Fund, and the International Testicular Cancer Foundation. Their campaigns make us laugh! What motivates you?
TK: I was a teacher when I had testicular cancer 1995. Since then I explained the risk of testicular cancer every year in class to make the boys aware. A former student of mine invited me for coffee in 2006 just to say thank you that I made them aware. Because of that he went to the doctor in time and was saved at the age of 16!
mK: Wow! That is great! Who is your personal hero or are your heroes?
TK: Anyone who just does what he/she loves to do despite what others are thinking or saying.
mK: What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
TK:. Authentic people/actions are funny because they are real. I don’t like fake/pretentious people that are loud on top of that too.
mK: What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
TK: Travel – been to 48 countries
mK: Very cool! What is the toughest challenge a survivor faces?
TK: For me – to overcome the fear that cancer returns.
mK: Let’s get to know you better… What is your guilty pleasure?
TK: Chili chocolate with a glass of red wine
mK: Here is a unique question for you… If you were stranded on a deserted island what 3 things would you need to survive? Why?
TK: Water – obviously. Calmness and common sense to get things sorted.
mK: Hee hee… wouldn’t you get bored on a deserted island? Anyways, what are is next on your agenda?
TK: Taking my foundation to the next level. I just resigned from my daytime job to follow my passion!
mK: That is a very large undertaking! Good luck! Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
TK: Allow your feelings. Felling like to be lived – it helps you work through the process. It’s painful I know but it helps.
mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
TK: My bed is diagonally in the middle of my bedroom.
mK: Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
TK: Live and follow your passion. Stop playing the blame game (doesn’t matter on what) cause only you can make a change to your life.
Torsten Koehler: Diagonal bed sleeper, “zen-deserted-island survivor”, chili chocolate and red wine connoisseur, world traveler, former teacher, and driven testicular cancer advocate. Thanks for doing this interview Torsten! Good luck with “Love your Nuts”! We look forward to meeting you in person in November!