Love Your Nuts (LYN) is a registered Section 18A, non-profit testicular cancer awareness campaign based in South Africa.
In his thirties, Torsten Koehler, the founder of LYN Foundation, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1995 ironically whilst educating young teenagers about sex education at a school where he was employed as a teacher.
His journey of survival started by openly confronting his thoughts and emotions, relating the reactions of his friends, family and not least, his students, who gave him enormous help and hope. With their encouragement, the German version of his book “Love your nuts” was published in Germany in 2004 and thereafter in English in 2011.
The motivation to start this foundation was inspired a former student who thanked him for making him aware during his awareness sessions at the school they attended:
“Because you made us aware I went to the doctor in time. I’ve got testicular cancer too. I’m 16 and you saved my life”.
Torsten is now sharing his story through the platform of the Love Your Nuts Foundation emphasising how everybody is valuable they are and how fantastic life can be and therefore has a passion for this campaign.
The goal of Love Your Nuts is to raise awareness of (testicular) cancer by educating communities about the rarely spoken about cancer that often remains undetected in young adults due to our diverse society in South Africa, where cultural taboos, stigmas and a lack of knowledge about the subject is widespread.
What we do
The Problem in a Nutshell
We believe that no men would die of testicular cancer if they knew about this young man’s cancer and were aware of how to prevent it.
Boys/men die for the following 2 reasons:
- During puberty the body changes. Boys feel these lumps but think it is part of growing up. So they think it will go away again. If they knew that it could be cancer their lives could have been saved!
- Men feel the lumps but find it too embarrassing to go to the doctor. If they knew that it could be cancer their lives could have been saved.
If we can bring awareness to all boys/men in an early stage in their lives they will be saved. Knowledge and early detection is the best weapon against cancer!
LYN will focus on establishing a continuous awareness campaign through engaging with young males (and females) at school, where the 15-year old teenager and his (her) father of 35 years of age is actively engaged and share this knowledge and potential support for their families to overcome myths of cancer.
The Impact in a Nutshell
The aim is to change men’s (lady’s) behaviour through education and awareness that it becomes a habit for men (ladies) to look after their health starting with monthly testicular (breast) cancer self-examination starting at school level already.
This can lead to becoming more health conscious and adapting a healthy lifestyle in general – which often lacks because of cultural taboos, stigmas and knowledge.
Changing the behaviour of young people by teaching them to look after their health will lead to a healthier next generation who will uplift their communities.
Our pillars in a nutshell
The main project is to get a mobile app developed which will have 3 components:
We give educational and motivational talks at schools, corporates, sport clubs and events. An educational stage play “Nuts about you” for high schools is available on request
Donating the book “Love your Nuts – Testicular cancer touched my life” to the school library
We’ve got runners at different events nationwide who run in swimwear to raise awareness and funds.
Cyclists participate at different events nationwide too and every second year a group of cyclists take up the challenge to cycle from Johannesburg to Durban (720 km over 5 days) to raise awareness in the more rural areas.
Merchandise for sale: Shirts (running & cycling), swimwear, caps, underwear, Bike Nuts and the book “Love your Nuts” (English & German)
We support men diagnosed with testicular cancer emotionally. It is often easier to share thoughts and fears with a survivor than with a family member or friend. Building a network of survivors nationwide/worldwide is in an developing stage to support patients.