Eric Shanteau


All of our hearts at the LAF have gone out to Eric Shanteau, the Olympic swimmer facing the toughest choice of his life: compete at Beijing or begin treatment for testicular cancer. I thought this story beautifully illustrates his plight thoughtfully and wanted to share it with everyone.


  1. Eric says:

    Amazing story. When I was diagnosed with this disease and was going through all the initial shock I easily can remember the expression on my doctor’s face at IUPUI hospitals when I asked “when can I go back to classes?”

    I asked that question because I was diagnosed 2 weeks before I was supposed to return to college. Not that classes at the University of Chicago compares in any way to the olympics, but this is an amazing story, and one I feel is repeated throughout the world on equally large, and much smaller, scales all too often.

  2. Brian Dowd says:

    I will be cheering Eric on for success in Beijing and in his fight against cancer. As I posted on my blog, Can you imagine the pressure of going to Beijing to participate in the Olympics and knowing you have cancer. Knowing you will have to come back home and begin the fight of your life! Regardless of Eric’s place in the 200 meter breaststroke it makes his participation sound easy compared to what he will face when he gets home.

    Best wishes to Eric!

  3. Scott Joy says:

    I continue to struggle with this dilemma — although it isn’t mine to face. I want to insist that Eric should act immediately to minimize the risk of metastasis, but I understand it just isn’t that simple. In the end, I’ll be rooting for you wholeheartedly, Eric.

  4. Leo Lazarus says:

    Good on him for continuing with his Olympic quest, that shows a lot of courage and I wish him all the best with that and the fight he faces afterwards.

  5. Karen says:

    I hope and pray everything goes well for you. My son who is 17 was diagnosed in March. He went through 4 rounds of the chemo and we are now headed to Indiana the first week of August for RPLND surgery and to remove a node in his lung. He found it when small but it had already spread to lymph nodes. Please don’t wait too long.

  6. BEST WISHES in Beijing and with the testicular cancer, Eric! My prayers and good luck to you for ultimate success in BOTH!

  7. Elyse Enger says:

    Eric Shanteau is one of the bravest athletes ever. His agonizing choice–Olympics or testicular cancer was hard , but in the end he chose the Olympics.

    I sincerely believe that Eric, no matter what trials he may endure in the pool and in life, will yet trumiph over them.

    I also have a small bit of advice for him: find something that can be a outlet for all the emotions he might be feeling, like blogging or writing in a journal. It can be both theraputic and help when thing begins to get overwhelming.

  8. Cindy says:

    Eric…you are in my prayers.

    My husband had seminoma and has done great. It has been more than five years since his diagnosis and treatment. I never thought our life would get back to normal but it has…in fact, we rarely think about the cancer today. We did add onto our family post-surgery/treatment when our third son was born in 2004. If I were in your shoes I would have made the same decision to go to the Olympics. Good luck! Best wishes to you! –Cindy in Texas

  9. Roni Romano says:

    I am also a Testicular Cancer survivor and can say that it is one of the most horrible ordeals a man can ever go through!!! Not only is there the diagnosis of the cancer itself to contend with but there is also the emotional fallout from the nightmare of tests, treatment (usually immediate surgery to remove one or both of the affected testicles, followed by several rounds of radiation or chemotherapy). Not to mention the emotional scars left for years to come!!!

    On the plus side TC has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers : )

    If you are a male between the ages of 18 -35 you should regularly check both testicles to see if there are any lumps or unexplained swelling. It is after all the most common cancer in men in this age group!!!

    If you notice anything out of the ordinary, CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY and ask for an ultrasound. The earlier the cancer is detected the higher the chances are of a cure.

    Also don’t fall into that trap that I did thinking that because my lump wasn’t painful it mustn’t be sinister.

    Painless lumps are one of the signs of testicular cancer!!!

    Eric Shanteau is incredibly courageous and no one should judge him for his decision. I wish Eric the best of luck and am certain that he will have a full recovery!!!


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