Cancer Champion Turned Olympian

Jake Gibb beats testicular cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Cancer almost kept Jake Gibb from going for the gold in London. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December, 2010 - just as the Olympic qualifying period was beginning. 

In his movie - "More Than Gold" - Gibb said, "I was scared. Until you find information and know what happens next, it's a scary thing."

The professional beach volleyball player did know that the three rounds of chemotherapy his doctors originally thought he'd need would end his Olympic hopes.

"Groin pain should be checked out - see your doctor."

"It's a tough dream to let go of," Gibb said.

And while 2011 was "a tough year," it had its blessings, too - with the birth of his first son. "He's become everything. I love him to pieces," said Gibb.

Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in men 20 to 35 years old. It affects nearly 8,600 men, but is rarely fatal.

It can appear as a painless lump, swelling or pain in either testicle or in the scrotum; or it may cause a dull ache in the abdomen or groin.

This wasn't Gibb's first battle with cancer. Seven years earlier, he had a melanoma (skin cancer) removed from his shoulder.

Gibb's cancer was caught early enough that he didn't have to have chemotherapy. Learning the news, he said, was "the greatest relief and joy of his life to that point."

“I feel like I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” said Gibb. “And to be able to go back to something as big as the Olympics, after not knowing if I’d even be able to play again, is so … overwhelming,” Gibb continued. “It’s hard for me to articulate other than to say I’m just beyond grateful.”

After qualifying for the Olympics, Gibb and his partner went on to win their first Grand Slam victory in Berlin.

Gibb and Rosenthal finished fifth in beach volleyball in 2008 and are already winning in London.

And while striving to take home the gold this year, Jake Gibb knows that his health and his family mean far more than gold. 

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 29, 2012
Last Updated:
July 30, 2012