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Empowering Lives: Ian Batten's Impactful Cancer Advocacy

Ian Batten - Motivational Speaker - Cancer Survivor

Ian Batten - Motivational Speaker - Cancer Survivor

Inspiring Testicular Cancer Survivor: Ian Batten's Journey

Ian Batten, a cancer survivor and motivational speaker, shares his story and journey as a cancer care coach. His experience with cancer led him to become an advocate for breaking stigmas and spreading awareness.


My name is Ian Batten & I am a proud cancer survivor, motivational speaker, and #1 cancer care coach.

My story began in 2003 when what should have been a routine hernia operation instead was turned into a complete nightmare & a very long road/battle with this disease.

The Doctors repaired my hernia, but they discovered that there was something not right in my groin region.

​I was sent for further tests. I will never forget that day on 26 February 2003. It was the day that I was sentenced to death. I couldn’t believe what the doctor was telling me. I could see his lips moving but I could hear no words coming out of his mouth.

I kept telling him to say it again. What he was telling me was that I was in stage 4 of Testicular Cancer. I remembered that everything slowed down & what the doctor was telling me made the entire hospital room go cold. That day I was sentenced to death without even a trial & I didn’t even get a chance to prepare for my defense. I was put on death row waiting for my execution date

I sat on my hospital bed & was shattered. This couldn’t be happening, as I have never heard of testicular cancer. I remembered some words coming out of my mouth saying that he was wrong & that there must be some mistake. I researched Testicular Cancer on Google. It was something real!!!

Cancer played a huge part in our family, on my mother’s side. Most of my aunts and uncles died from some form of cancer. Be it skin cancer, colon cancer & breast cancer. My aunt died a horrific death, from breast cancer, a few years before I got my death sentence. She had both her breasts removed & went for very strong chemo & unfortunately, she died within six months.

​So I knew I never stood a chance with my death sentence. Soon after this devastating news, the doctor told me even more good news. Not only one testicle was infected but both of them & I would probably have to have them removed if I wanted a chance of living, BUT that also wasn’t guaranteed. Then he left. Just like that. I was employed at that time with a large retail company in a senior position. My boss called me to see how I was recovering from my hernia & to see just how much time I would be off work. I then told him the “VERY GOOD NEWS”, that I was in stage 4 testicular cancer. He then promptly told me that the company could not stand behind me & that I must get out of my hospital bed & bring the company car back. His exact words were” That they couldn’t stand & support a person who is going to die.” This was a major blow /slap in my face. I was not only told I had cancer but now I don’t have a job either!! This day was just getting better with all this good news.

​I was forced to go to a state hospital as my medical aid benefits stopped. I got a small glimmer of hope as I thought I would be told it was all a big mistake & I would get an all-clear from the second opinion. But as you can imagine this wasn’t to be. The second round of tests was confirmed. So there would be no last-minute reprieve or phone call that would save me from death row. I was booked into the hospital & was to proceed to have an operation that would change my life in a big way. A full man becoming half a man by me losing my family jewels.

​And still, the taunting just continued. I remember waking up after my op in the recovery room. I looked to my left & there stood what I thought was a “tokoloshe” I wondered what he was staring at & what he was doing in the room. But as my wits & eyesight started to sharpen I soon realized that it was my “family jewels” in a jar next to my bed. I was so upset!!!! I mean really, what was I supposed to do with them? Put them on the family fireplace & invite people to see what I had lost!!! That was not going to work. So I just turned on my right side & cried. I was sent home with the promise that after I recovered from my operation I would start chemotherapy. Again I had only seen the bad side of chemo. Again I wasn’t given any information as to what I should expect etc. Google once again became my best friend.

​While I was recovering from losing my manhood I was attending a very big church. One Sunday I heard one of the Pastors talking to a group of men, as I walked by, “There goes PINOCHIO!!!” Why Pinocchio one man said. The pastor replied” Because he isn’t a real boy”, & they all laughed. I was devastated.

​During this recovery period, I remember looking for people that had survived Cancer. All I knew about cancer was death. I hadn’t met or even heard of survivors, but I knew there had to be some. I started to get to a point where I was positive & was wanting to fight this invasion of my body. I was a single father of two small girls. So I had to fight for them.

​I went for my chemotherapy. Again the Doctors etc failed to give me any information. I had to research it myself. The effects on the body differ from person to person & also the length & type of chemo used. The side effects that I could expect ranged from losing hair, vomiting, and mouth sores, rapid weight loss, loss of energy, pain, dry mouth & and so on. But I was ready to face whatever I had to!!!

I had my sessions & I made it through without too much discomfort. I remember thinking that I was blessed not to have any of the more serious side effects. I started rejoicing that I hardly showed the more horrible side effects.

​The doctors told me I was in remission & that I needed to go for regular check-ups for the next five years. I went for my first one in the few months following my remission. I also had my prostrate exam & I really didn’t like it at all. Back then the only way the doctor could do the exam was the so-called “Finger exam”. I really didn’t enjoy that exam & so I never returned for more check-ups as requested. “TYPICAL MALE”. Now for a quick accurate prostrate exam, they do a simple blood test with a prick of your finger. I want to encourage all men over 40 to go have this quick & painless test done at least once a year. Takes 5 min. It can just save your life.

In 2009, I was having breathing problems & severe chest pain. I went to the doctor only to be told that I had 2 tumors on my left lung. The tumors turned out to be cancerous. My cancer came back with a vengeance. I was slapped hard again in the face. I was that I was going to face a very harsh & tough chemotherapy program. Well, I thought I got through it once I can do it with my eyes closed again. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. Within a couple of months, I went from a healthy 92 kg man to a 40 kg walking corpse. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was told to consult a dietician, which I did. I was told by her that I must eat raw broccoli!! I don’t know about you, but raw broccoli to me was like eating corrugated cardboard. So that wasn’t happening.

Although this is very good for you because it soaks up all the poisonous toxins from the chemo. She also advised that I could eat chicken. This sounded more like it, I thought. I could make a nice chicken curry or do a lovely roast chicken. I looked up & saw her shaking her head. She said it has to be boiled chicken without salt or spices. I tried it & it was like eating a rubber duck. So that went out the window. Eventually, all I could keep down was boiled egg & rooibos tea. The chemotherapy treatments were so bad that eventually, they couldn’t find the veins in my arms they had to put a port in my neck. I felt like ROBOCOP. I was wheeled into the oncology department in a wheelchair as I couldn’t walk because I was so weak & then got hooked up to the Chemo drip.

​This carried on for a few months. I wasn’t coping at all. When I wasn’t vomiting or in pain, I was lying flat on my back. I thought to myself that this was no way to live. I can’t spend time with my daughters as all I do is lie in bed & can hardly get up.

So after discussions with my mother, I decided that I would stop my chemo treatments as I wasn’t any good. So what I am saying is I GAVE UP. Didn’t want this brutal poison punishing my body anymore. I wanted to spend quality time with my daughters.

​On 15 September 2009, the morning started like any other morning. I was throwing up as usual & I was very weak. Then out of the blue, I heard ‘Iain, my son” I called for my family but no one was there. Again I heard “Iain, my son” I looked around the room & saw nobody there. I thought I must be losing it & that I would have to get a straight jacket put on, as I was going crazy. Then I thought OK, I am hearing voices so it must be the end for me.

​The same words were called out to me again, but this time I felt a warmth touching the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Then the following words come soon after “Iain, my son, stand up & you will keep quiet no longer.” I knew God was talking to me.

So it wasn’t a quick miraculous healing that I could go & bench press 120kg at the gym.

​My chemo treatments didn’t change but because I chose to grab God's hand the treatments became more bearable. My system started to recover a bit quicker. That is what I do know. I talk to men, corporations & schools about the importance of doing regular testicular examinations, saving lives, & to create hope for people going through what I went through. I also motivate fellow survivors to get involved with fellow cancer patients, for this is the reason we have been granted a second chance.

​Want to end with this story of hope. You can use this story in any part of your life. You don’t have to have a serious illness etc.

A lady always loved cleaning her house in the morning. She had 4 candles sitting on a table in her lounge. This particular day while she was cleaning she heard a conversation between the candles.

​The 1st candle introduced itself as the candle of PEACE. As the candle was talking the flame burned bright with pride. But grew sad as the candle said “There isn’t much peace anymore in the world.” So the flame grew dimmer & dimmer & eventually went out.

The 2nd candle jumped up & introduced itself as the candle FAITH. The flame was burning bright & proud. But as the 1st candle, the flame grew dimmer & dimmer & went out, as we have lost our faith in one another. The lady was listening at the door & was growing very worried, now.

​The 3rd candle jumped up & introduced itself as the candle of LOVE. Just like the previous candles the flame was burning proud & bright. But as the candle talked the flame grew dimmer & dimmer & eventually went out. The candle said there is no love in the world anymore, too many people fighting, etc. The lady now was so distraught she ran into the room weeping. But remember I said there were 4 candles.

The 4th candle tugged gently at the ladies' dress. The candle said lady don’t cry, as I am the candle of HOPE. As long you have me burning bright & proud you can take me to light the other candles again.

​So I want to encourage you NO MATTER what you are facing in the world, OR how difficult you think your circumstances are, never give up HOPE. Because with hope you can ignite peace, faith & love. That hope has a name & His name is Jesus Christ. #becauseitmatters!

Empowering Through Wellness Talks

  
Ian offers wellness talks and coaching services for various groups and individuals, including corporate companies, hospitals, schools, churches, and cancer patients. His talks cover topics like breast cancer awareness, survivor motivation, and individual coaching sessions (Soul Care Therapy) for cancer patients. Ian's services aim to provide support, education, and inspiration to those affected by cancer.

  • Wellness Talks for Corporate Companies
  • Women's Breast Cancer Talks
  • Men's Breakfasts
  • Informal Settlements
  • Hospitals
  • Mining Communities
  • Schools, colleges, and Universities
  • Churches and Religious Groups
  • Survivor motivational talks
  • Individual Coaching for cancer patients via Zoom/Whatsapp
  • Wellness Day Events Talks   

Ian Batten's Media Appearances for Cancer Advocacy

 Ian has been featured in various media outlets, including Rainbow Radio, Radio Pulpit, Radio Sonder Grense, and local newspapers like Roodepoort Record and Randfontein Herald. This exposure helps spread awareness about Ian's advocacy work, cancer journey, and the importance of early detection and support for cancer patients.  

  • Rainbow Radio
  • Radio Pulpit
  • Radio Sonder Grense
  • Local Newspapers:  Roodepoort Record and Randfontein Herald  
Making a way OUT of no way!

Making a way OUT of no way!

Overall

  Overall, this page highlights Ian Batten's personal story of resilience, his advocacy for cancer awareness, and the services he offers to support and inspire others in their cancer journeys.  

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