Tribune Recorder Leader
Testicular cancer – two scary words, and for sure, not one that an 18-year-old wants to hear.
Chris Oswald, a 2023 graduate of Ubly Schools, found out early in December that was indeed what he had. On December 16, two days before he was 18, he went to the doctor, and by December 29, Chris was at U of M for surgery. (Chris’s doctor asked if they could pray together before the surgery, which made them feel so much better).
An avid football player, playing both tight end and defensive end, Chris noticed that there was something wrong, but wanted to finish his season, so didn’t talk to his mom until after (when they were going to purchase a Christmas tree), telling her that his one testicle was hard, and wondering if that was normal.
Chris had one testicle removed, and had clear margins after that. He was doing monthly labs, and in April the counts were higher than what they were before surgery. Evidently, there were hidden cancer cells, and they were growing rapidly. On May 21, Chris graduated from high school, and on May 22, a regimen of chemotherapy started.
Chris ‘s chemotherapy was three cycles – 5 days a week as inpatient, and the next two Mondays were outpatient, and then again for two more cycles. According to his mom Pauletta, when he was inpatient, they would watch him very carefully and could take care of any issues that came up, but when he did outpatient it was much scarier, as he could run temperatures of up to 105 degrees. The outlook is very positive, and Tuesday (this week) he is getting an MRI, and Thursday he will have a Cat Scan, PFT and lab work.
The chemotherapy and other medicine that he is on can cause hearing loss of high frequency sounds, possible kidney problems and lung scarring.
A member of 4-H (11 years) with the Minden Country Critters and also an Ubly FFA member for six years, Chris has been showing animals, first in Sanilac County, and most recently in Huron County. This past Wednesday, he showed his prospect beef, which weighed in at 523 pounds. The calf, along with his brother Colton’s came from the GTL Vogel Farms, who like to help area kids with being able to participate in 4-H.
Little did Chris, or his parents know, that some calls/messages had been made, and the bidding of his beef last Friday, skyrocketed. Starting at $10 per pound, the bidding was soon up to $110 per pound. Pauletta was videoing Chris, and didn’t even realize what was happening. As of that day, $59,000 was bid. The bidding didn’t stop there, and a total has not yet been released. Needless to say, not “one” person got the bid for the calf, and now Tony Guza of Guza Construction is raising it for Chris so he can show it next year as a “big beef”. The proceeds of next year’s sale is going to be donated to JLA (Junior Livestock Association). The Oswald family is overwhelmed with the support of the community, and because their insurance is balking on a PET scan, the money raised from the sale, will go towards paying for it. The family is also planning on starting a scholarship at Ubly Schools for a football player that plays the same positions that Chris played.
Nicknamed both Goldilocks and Thor because of his long blonde hair, Chris said, “The support of the community is outstanding. I am so grateful for what has been done.”
Mom, Pauletta, and dad, Dave, are at a loss of words. They are in disbelief of what transpired at the fair and other fund-raisers that have been held. But, again, living in the Thumb of Michigan, is a place where people help each other in time of need.
The Sanilac County Sheriff’s Posse is doing a “Benefit Ride” for Chris on August 20, and Chris will be riding along with them. Tom Clor, Chris’ grandpa, has been a member of the posse for years and will also be riding. Mom, Pauletta (a former member) will also be riding, and if all works out in the future, Chris and his mom hope to become members together – so there will be three generations in the posse.
It is hoped that the chemotherapy has worked, and that Chris is done with it. He will be having 3-month check-ups for a year, and then every six months, for up to 10 years.
Not attending college, Chris has been working with Brad Ratcliff installing seamless gutters and Kevin Klee, doing taxidermy work. He plans to continue with that.
Again, the Oswald family would like to thank all of those who have helped them in anyway, and sincerely appreciate all of their support.