A Rapid City man keeps a smile on his face as he tackles cancer

Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 7:24 PM CST
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Firefighters, officers, even NFL players let their hair grow wild for No Shave November to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Though it's the second leading cause of death in American men, I meet one man who is battling the best way he knows how...through laughter.

Cancer is no joke. But somehow John Schrier makes light of it.

"It throws a lot of people off. I told the doctor here. You know, he told me what kind of cancer I had and I was like oh well huh I guess I'm an overachiever," Schrier said.

At 32-years-old John is fighting a rare and aggressive testicular cancer.

Where he undergoes VIP chemotherapy, an aggressive form of chemo, for six and a half hours for 5 days in a row.

He never thought that one day in his life he would lose the chance to have children or even his hair.

"I had a bald spot here, a bald spot here. Naturally, I was bored at work one day and took some packing tape and I put packing tape all over around my head and then I just pulled off all the hair. Worked really quite good," Schrier said.

Pushing through the fatigue and nausea from chemo, John works as a warehouse manager at A&B Solutions with a smile.

He even added his own set of wheels to help him on those much needed days.

"There's times that he is feeling obviously under the weather and stuff. But he carries a positive attitude and he helps us out to ensure that we're also being able to do our jobs. Because we rely on John to do that," A&B Services Service Lead Tech Willie Gonzales said.

And John relies on them.

His co-workers, even members from the company's branch in Sioux Falls, donated their money and their PTO days for John.

The staff also wears the bracelets John made them to show support.

"You know every time I take off my watch. I look at that bracelet and think of John," Gonzales said.

John ended up making a

page to help alleviate the $120,000 bill he racked up.

Between the chemo, the surgeries, the hospital stays and the frequent 9-hour trips to Minnesota for specialist checkups it hurts his wallet.

"Definitely made me think, you know, should I have gone in sooner? Would I still be in this same position that I am in now?," he said.

John went to the hospital after a month of dealing with the discomfort of a swollen testicle. But it was a month too long.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for testicular cancer is 95 percent.

So even though it's a high number, John wants to remind men to still be cautious and "don't ignore the signs."

"If something is wrong go, go to the hospital. Cause you can think that all you want but at the end of the day it's, it can happen to anybody," he said.

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