A POPULAR Dr Crokes footballer has taken the brave decision to go public with his cancer diagnosis in the hope that it will encourage others to get themselves checked out – even if they have no symptoms.
David ‘Buddy’ O’Leary went for a scan after he tore a hamstring in a league game against Glenflesk in July but he was stunned to discover when his physiotherapist, Jimmy Galvin, informed him that the MRI also detected a lump on his testicle.
The tenacious defender, a former Kerry under 21 star who works as a postman, felt very fit and healthy and had no symptoms or pain so he was hugely shocked to hear the bombshell news.
In hindsight, he reflected that he had noticed a slight change in his testicle but thought it was a natural thing and he didn’t see a need to get it checked out.
Following the MR1 diagnosis, the 31-year-old All-Ireland Club Championship and Kerry SFC winner was operated on within a week and, with no further treatment deemed necessary, all he had to do was to concentrate on recovering from the surgery.
In a frank interview with journalist TJ Galvin, in the Irish Examiner, Buddy said he is already looking forward to getting back on the field of play through he might opt for a return with the cub’s junior side as opposed to more competitive senior competition.
He finds watching from the sidelines difficult but he will be in Austin Stack Park this afternoon to cheer his pals on in their Kerry County Championship semi-final clash with Kerins O’Rahillys.
Advising other to always get themselves checked out medically, he said some of his friends went for blood tests after his news although they had never done so before.
“I would say whatever is wrong, get it checked straight away. Don’t wait until the last minute,” said Buddy whose brothers, Kieran and Johnny, are also part of the Dr Crokes senior set-up.