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Plea to young people over illness

PUBLISHED: 07:12 01 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 July 2010

The grieving parents of a 26-year-old talented sportsman have spokeN of their hope that his death from testicular cancer and a brain tumour may help to raise awareness of the importance for young people to regularly check themselves for the condition.

The grieving parents of a 26-year-old talented sportsman have spokeN of their hope that his death from testicular cancer and a brain tumour may help to raise awareness of the importance for young people to regularly check themselves for the condition.

Steven Thacker, of Dereham, died on February 9 at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London after his life-support machine was switched off.

Steven was diagnosed with testicular cancer in August last year and was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and at St Bartholomew's and doctors were initially pleased at his response to his treatment. But he later developed violent headaches and was re-admitted to the hospital where he died of a brain tumour.

Testicular cancer is most common among men aged between 15 and 40 and particularly those in their mid-twenties.

His parents, Brian (known as Tom) and Lynn said they had received dozens of sympathy cards and numerous tributes to Steven from his friends had been posted on Facebook.

“We hope that by talking about Steven's story we can raise awareness of testicular cancer and the importance of young men and women (for breast cancer) to regularly check themselves for lumps. If we can save just one life through increased awareness then Steven will not have died in vain,” said Mrs Thacker.

The couple described their son as a fun-loving party animal who was very popular with his many friends. He was a devoted father to his three-year-old son, Joshua.

From an early age he developed an interest and talent for football and he was gifted at other sports, including cricket, golf and rugby.

As a teenager, he was taken on the books of the Peterborough United Academy and Cambridge City Academy. He also played for Dereham FC but following a knee injury lost some of his enthusiasm for the game.

Mr Thacker said he hoped his son's death would serve to highlight the importance of young men and women regularly checking themselves for early signs of testicular and breast cancer. “You tend to think that you are invincible when you are young but we hope that Steven's death will raise awareness of the condition and even if we can save one life it will be worthwhile,” said Mr Thacker.

Steven, has sisters, Elaine and Karen and his funeral was held on Tuesday at Earlham Crematorium, Norwich, and donations are invited for Macmillan Cancer Support.


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