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Tucson High star loses battle to cancer, wanted others to know warning signs of testicular cancer

Badgers standout pitcher Troy Iturralde says ‘if one child is saved, he would feel great’
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 9:26 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 9:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - UPDATE: Troy’s family says at 10:15 on January 6th, Troy “finished his final inning. He earned his wings and found his heavenly team. He was surrounded by love, as he made the journey home.”

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On April 28, everything changed for 16-year-old Troy Iturralde.

“They said that they found a mass on his testicle,” said his mom Tracy Iturralde. “It was malignant, there were lesions on his liver as it had metastasized his body.”

Troy, a young and fit teenager, was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer.

“He had been complaining for over a year about back pain,” Tracy said. “We contributed it to his workouts and sore muscles.”

“Cancer, I call it a thief in the night,” said Troy’s dad Antonio. “It comes in and it starts stealing your soul.”

Troy didn’t feel well enough to participate in an interview with KOLD, but he refused to let that stop his message from getting out.

“He just wants to say to parents, to individuals, check yourself,” Antonio said. “If you find something, whatever, it may be something.”

The Iturralde’s believe if Troy’s cancer was detected earlier, they would not be in this position.

“He (Troy) said if one child is saved, he would feel great,” Antonio said.

Troy’s parents said that’s the type of person he is, one that is always putting others before himself.

“He had a brain bleed from this (cancer),” Tracy said. “When he woke up from that surgery, the first thing he said is ‘I’m sorry.’ He apologies for our suffering. That’s just who he is.”

Troy’s selflessness has been felt by nearly every doctor and nurse helping in this fight.

“People meet him and it’s an immediate love,” Antonio said.

Nurses who are off-the-clock come by Troy’s house to help make sure he is comfortable.

A testament to his strength and the joy he brings to others.

“He doesn’t give up,” Antonio said. “He’s fighting every day. He’s fighting right now.”

Troy’s family said SportsCenter, family, friends and baseball help him keep fighting.

University of Arizona head coach Chip Hale surprised Troy with a video message Tuesday.

“Hi Troy, this is Coach Hale with Arizona Baseball,” Hales said. “We want to wish you the best keep fighting hard like a Wildcat always does. Here at Arizona Baseball, that’s what we’re so proud of is our battling every day. We can’t wait to see you this spring at our games and we just want to wish you the best buddy.”

According to Johns Hopkins, between 8,000-10,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer each year.

While testicular cancer can occur at any age, it is the second-most common type for teens between the ages of 15 and 19.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for testicular cancer is 90%.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Troy’s family with medical expenses. You can donate at https://gofund.me/c357aa01. As of Tuesday night, more than $15,000 has been raised.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.