To exclude, to expel:
Embarrassment over testicular cancer is one of the reasons so many men ignore tumors and Jack admits he faced it during a visit to the GP, but now he knows a lot. Thank you for being alive.
Stepping onto the famous cobbles of Dang Quang Street is a great moment for any actor. But for Jack James Ryan, the ultimate daily excitement is enriched by something more… the thrill of simply being alive.
“Every day I go to the set, I think, ‘Wow, this could be very different,’ bad boy star Jacob Hay said.
The difference was so much worse it could have been a lot worse after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 19. Luckily he caught it early but Jack also knows how lucky he is, how much is left. other people don’t.
“I no longer take things for granted,” says Jack. “I did before, but not now – I know how lucky I am.
“When I was diagnosed with cancer, I thought there was a chance I wouldn’t make it. But I did and I am living my dream. I’m glad everything went well and I’m grateful that I’m here. I love every second of it”.
Jack was studying at drama school when he returned to his mother Maranna’s house in Manchester for the Easter holidays and discovered a tumor.
Maranna and her sister Rebecca (known for her role as a stalker of Adam Barlow’s ex-girlfriend Lydia Chambers in this year’s Corrie) were both downstairs.
Jack, 25, recalls: “My sister had a circle of friends. I shouted: ‘Rebecca! Rebecca! ‘ She ran upstairs and I told her her friend had to go. She asked her to leave and she came back upstairs with my mother and I told them what I had found. ”
Embarrassment about testicular cancer is one of the reasons many men ignore tumors and Jack admits he faced it during a visit to the GP the next day.
“It was a trainee doctor and she was a young, beautiful girl. I could tell she was just as awkward as I was,” he recalls. “There is a male doctor supervising, but she is the one who has to examine and feel for me. It was a bit of a crazy experience.”
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Jack was transported to the hospital for surgery to remove his left testicle and replace it with a prosthetic leg. He was then given chemotherapy to make sure the cancer didn’t spread.
He returned to his course at the Guildford School of Acting in Surrey four months later.
“I am really lucky,” he said. The doctors thought I actually found the tumor within a week that it had grown. That’s why I don’t need much treatment after that. From the time the tumor was found to the time it was on the operating table, it took just two weeks. They move too fast.”
However, the trauma took a toll on Jack’s mental health and he stopped dating for a year. “I’ve struggled with my body image and I don’t feel comfortable being intimate that way with another person,” he says flatly.
Jack was consulted, but what really helped him come to terms with what happened was to write a play about his experiences, Me & My Left Ball in 2019.
“It was an appropriately traumatic experience,” he recalls. I was able to write down everything I was feeling. Sometimes during rehearsals, I have to go out and cry. I thought: ‘F***, I’ve really been through this.’
“I bottle everything. It’s a toxic masculinity that can’t speak for how you feel. I haven’t cried in front of anyone since I was a kid.
“I remember being in the hospital and the doctor confirmed it was cancer. My mother and my sister both burst into tears and I remember thinking, ‘Jack, don’t cry.’
“I’m really scared and maybe I need to cry, but I think if I’m strong then people will feel fine about it.”
Jack, who is in remission and gets checked every six months, is a supporter of the Teen Cancer Foundation.
“I’ve always thought of testicular cancer as an old man’s cancer, so as soon as I recover, I want to talk to other young men and ask them to get checked out,” he said.
“The Teen Cancer Trust’s specialist nurses care for people ages 13-24. Nurses help with mental health – body image, confidence issues and how young people feel about missing school and exams. The work they do has a huge impact. ”
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Jack was a child actor. But he and Rebecca, 30, are not the only performers in the family.
Mother Maranna was the first Irish dancing champion and their brother Charlie, 34, was the first to appear on TV, aged 14, in the BBC drama State of Play, alongside John Simm. Rebecca played his sister.
“And I just copied them!” Jack laughs. He started taking acting classes and got his first role in 2005 in the TV series Titanic: Birth of a Legend, when he was 8 years old. “I played an Irish boy. My mother has the proper thick Irish accent and I just imitate her,” he said.
After leaving drama school, Jack appeared as a soldier alongside Kristen Scott Thomas in Military Wives and also in Emmerdale as a thug who stabbed Ellis Chapman.
“That’s all I got,” he laughs. “Racists, criminals and drug dealers!”
When the acting job dried up during the closure, Jack took a job as a teaching assistant working with young children with additional needs.
Then, last year, he auditioned for the part of Corrie’s drug dealer, Jacob. “I remember reading the synopsis and saying to my mother: ‘This is me; I don’t get no for an answer! “Jack spent three months on the show, but got so popular that Jacob returned this year.
Jack couldn’t be more than his onscreen bad boy character. Polite, articulate, and big-hearted, he went out for a year and went to Africa for four months. He lives with a local family in Tanzania without running water and electricity, while working in hospitals and schools.
“If I weren’t an actor, I would have worked in international development or social work,” he said. That’s what I’m passionate about. ”
Jack is single and still lives with his mother. “She’s trying to marry me, so if there are any qualified readers out there, get in touch!” he joked.
“My mother couldn’t get rid of me. As long as she cooks and cleans for me, there’s no chance. I am a giant boy of Mom! ”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/corries-jack-james-ryan-opens-26970323 Corrie's Jack James Ryan shares his testicular cancer diagnosis at the age of 19