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Rob Fuller Motorsports and 15-40 Connection Highlight New Cancer Survivor Story in Season Finale Race

Posted on October 14 , 2014 by Rob Fuller

Rob Fuller Motorsports and 15-40 Connection Highlight New Cancer Survivor Story in Season Finale Race

Rob Russo chosen to be featured on #15 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour entry at Thompson Speedway and attend race as Honorary Crew Member

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (October 14, 2014) – This season in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT), Rob Fuller Motorsports (RFM) and 15-40 Connection have teamed up to share the journey of diagnosis of four young adult cancer survivors.  Now, the duo is proud to announce the addition of Rob Russo’s story to the non-profit’s educational program.

Russo’s journey to cancer diagnosis was added to the platform after a call-to-action from RFM and 15-40 Connection surrounding the New Hampshire Motor Speedway race asking fans to help expand the “Learn From Me” series.

Russo, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 23, submitted his story to be shared with young people to open the conversation of early cancer detection.  He will be featured on the No. 15 Chevrolet piloted by Todd Szegedy at Thompson Speedway on Oct. 19 and will attend the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race as an honorary crew member.

At the age of 23, Russo was finishing up his Master’s Degree and consulting in a bike shop.  He went on a normal mountain bike ride with some friends and the next day he had severe back pain and was barely able to get out of bed.

“I wrote it off as sleeping wrong or being out of shape,” said Russo.  “At this same time, though, I began to notice a growth in my right testicle. It began to grow in size and became painful to touch and move during daily activity. I knew something was wrong, but figured I’d give it a couple weeks to go away and then a couple more, which then turned into six months.”

Russo was embarrassed to tell anyone but eventually confided in his best friend who encouraged him to see a doctor. After visiting his general practitioner, he was immediately sent to see a specialist.

“An ultrasound revealed that there were definite abnormalities,” Russo continued.  “At this point I could no longer keep it a secret and I had to tell my parents. As you might imagine, within three days I was sitting with the surgeon. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer. My delay had given it time to spread up the spermatic cord out of the testis.”

Russo underwent nine weeks of intensive chemotherapy.  He now encourages friends to do self-exams and “get to know what’s going on down there – normally – so they don’t run the risk of dismissing away health changes that turn out to actually be symptoms of a big problem.”

Following his experience, Russo now advises, “get to know your normal and don’t wait to get checked out if you KNOW something’s off.”

Russo, in part, entered his story to be an honorary crew member at the Thompson Speedway season finale to return to the track where he spent many years with this father, Bob Russo.  Rob worked with his father on the No. 14 TIS Modified doing everything from jacking the car to body work and car setup.

“It is a past time that my father and I share and is a good bonding experience for us.” Russo said.

Russo’s full story can be found at: http://bit.ly/1540Russo.

To learn more, please visit www.15-40.org or Facebook.com/1540Connection.

About 15-40 Connection

15-40 Connection is raising awareness of the fact that cancer survival rates in teens and young adults aged 15 to 40 have barely improved since 1975 in large part because of delays in diagnosis. It is empowering individuals with knowledge that will save and improve lives through early cancer detection.  For more information, please visit 15-40.org

About Rob Fuller Motorsports

Rob Fuller Motorsports was established in 1999.  It is a company solely based on one person’s vision to do more with less in the motorsports industry.  From the Saturday night racer looking for those extra two tenths to assembling a COT car that qualified for the Daytona 500 out of his own backyard shop, Rob puts forth the kind of quality and work ethic found in top NASCAR teams.  He takes great pride in the fact that many of his employees move on to Hendrick, Gibbs or any other highly respected team in NASCAR to further their career in racing.

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Media Contact:
Nealie Stufflet
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