Here is an article they shared with their community about my journey through the COH.
Read only if you want the details of my story. I am Ben Teller, a 23 year old, 3 time Hodgkins lymphoma survivor. I just underwent a MUD BMT trasnplant. Cuckfancer.com is my passion. I am raising awareness for young adult cancer. Cure is the goal.
Meet Nancy! She saved my life!
This year has been quite the roller coaster for me, and it is one that will go in the books for sure. I thought I would recap it for myself, along with the people that helped me get through it all. It really showed me that anything could happen. By trying to stay positive through those dark days I was able to make it to where I am today. I know I say it a lot, but I mean it when I say that staying positive and having the right attitude can really help make a bad situation that much better. I posted some pictures that I will reference that hopefully can help describe how lucky I am.
I will try to reference in order of Pictures:
Being on house arrest from January to March was tough. Coming out of my transplant, I had to be careful. On April 29th, 2013, I was finally said to be cancer free after a nerve wracking PET CT scan. That first picture may be overboard, but that day will never be forgotten. After that day, it was like I only had amazing things to look forward to. Not many things were planned for this year, but I took everything day by day, and some great things fell into my lap.
We (Cuck Fancer.) threw a HUGE event at UC Irvine where we were able to swab 256 students into the Bone Marrow Registry, and raise over $3,000. It was our second time at UCI, and this April it will be our third. We are trying to take this organization to other college campuses to spread awareness about the disease. Two years ago I would have never imagined we’d be able to get to this point so soon and it makes me so happy to be able to grow this organization that started with just a bracelet and an idea.
This was the Bone Marrow Transplant Casino night for Be The Match at the City of Hope. We were all asked to come together to talk about the importance of the bone marrow registry. It was the first time I spoke since my transplant. By my side were three amazing young ladies that swabbed at our first Cuck Fancer. event at UCI and became bone marrow donors. This feeling was truly amazing. To know that in some distant way I helped save three lives, I will never forget. I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than saving lives.
Probably the highlight of the year (after being cancer free), I was asked as a part of the ThinkCure foundation for the City of Hope and the Dodgers to share my story and then they asked me to say the most famous words at Dodger Stadium “It’s time for Dodgers Baseball.” As a Dodger fan, and as somebody who had been on lockdown for months without much going on, this was surreal.
I was really nervous about entering the real world after my transplant. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to work and try something new. I knew I wanted to be on TV. I loved sports. I figured why not put those together! I was hired at Fox Sports 1 as a production assistant and I love it. I am so grateful to be doing what I love.
When I gave my first speech back in 2010 in Orange County, I was told about one of the most amazing foundations in New York: The Time Nesvig Foundation. I did not think that 3 years and 2 transplants later that I would be asked to speak at an event for this fundraiser. The Nesvig event pays for one doctor to do independent research for cancer patients. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Nesvig Fellow’s research, which put me into remission before my transplant. This event was great for so many reasons, but one that made it extra special was that members of all the big sports networks were there and I was able to meet some really extraordinary people. It was MC’d by Joe Buck, a sportscaster I have always looked up to. This idol of mine said the following quote that I will never forget:
After I was done speaking (super emotional and could not stop crying)—-
Joe Buck- “Wait, you work behind the camera at Fox? You belong in front of the camera!”
Pinch me. One day I do wish to be in front of the camera, and it was good to know that somebody could validate that for me. Not just someone, Joe Buck! One day I do wish to be in front of the camera and to have someone who has that dream job of mine tell me that I can do it too was unbelievable.
Cuck Fancer, did it! We gave out $12,000 to 8 young, inspiring individuals. We helped them pay off their student debt, car bills, health bills, phone bills – you name it, we helped them. That was something I cannot really describe. The emails and phone calls I received from these young adults truly inspired me. I can’t wait to help out more people next year. This next step in the non profit has only inspired me to keep working harder to make this bigger in the coming years.
This is a screen shot of one of our recipients Destiny’s Facebook when she was notified that she received the grant. It made me really happy to see this. I always hope to help people and to see it become a reality is a great feeling.
The most recent article written about my story in Tribe magazine. It is my favorite (no offense to anybody who is reading this who has written one about me.) It is awesome. Check it out here: http://www.tribejournal.com/features/2013/11/cuck-fancer-the-other-f-word/
This picture I could write a book about. If you know me, or have heard me speak you know that I probably wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t for this amazing woman. My mom has been there for me through thick and thin. Every hospital visit, every bad and good scan, every speech and especially through all those long talks about trying to get through the rough times in my life. She is my rock. Without her, there is no me.
There were many more amazing things I did this year such as speak in Colorado, go to four concerts (Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Macklemore) and being get published in the Huffington Post.
I am incredibly grateful for all of this. I think the main reason I am telling you all of this is not to brag, but to remind myself that through all of the shit I dealt with, there were more amazing things I was able to do in spite of cancer. Cancer didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do, it just paused all of it. It just goes to show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am living proof of that!
I am excited for the new year and what it is going to bring. All I know is that it is starting out with a bang. I am meeting my donor for the first time at the Rose Parade on January 1st on live TV, (KTLA 5) at 7:15 AM. Crazy. That will be a whole different post.
Thank you to everybody who stood by my side. Without all of you, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be who I am today.
It’s how you wear it,
So much has happened for Cuck Fancer. in the last couple months. We updated and launched our new website, www.cuckfancer.com. Here you can see all of our wonderful Cuck It grant recipients. We granted $12,000 to eight amazing young individuals to help them get their feet back on the ground. Please take the time to read their stories, they are truly inspiring. We also launched a Cuck Fancer. Movember campaign. It has been a lot of fun. We have about 25 people growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health. That link is on our website, but is also here, www.cuckfancer.com/movember. We have already raised $1500! It is really funny to see some people with mustaches who have never had them before.
Tribe magazine, which is part of the Jewish Journal, did a feature on myself and Cuck Fancer. titled “The Other F Word.” I am so grateful to people who have reached out to help me spread the word about Cuck Fancer. In the picture above, I am taking some photos for the Orange Coast Magazine that will be sharing my story in their January issue. I am so grateful for all of these opportunities.
Cuck Fancer. has a lot in store for 2014! I am personally super excited to expand this organization into something bigger than I ever imagined.
-It’s How You Wear It,
Exactly 1 year ago I received a life saving transplant. I am so grateful to be where I am today and for the woman who took the time to give me the opportunity for another shot at life. Please take 5 minutes and sign up for the bone marrow registry at www.marrow.org. You can’t save my life, but you can save somebody just like mine.
I have given many speeches over the past three years, but none have been more rewarding and meaningful then the one I gave this past weekend in New York. I was a guest speaker at the Tim Nesvig Golf Classic, for the City of Hope.
Tim Nesvig passed away in 2005, but his legacy lives on through this event. His parents, Jon and Hanneke, fundraise enough money every year through this single one event to endow COH enough funds to hire a fellow to continue independent research for the advancement of cure, for Lymphoma related diseases.
Every year a Nesvig Fellow is named, and since 2010, the Nesvig fellowship program has made a huge impact on my life.
When I relapsed for the third time in 2012, my doctor mentioned that there was a drug available called SGN-35. Although this drug may not seem significant by name, it was crucial to my battle with cancer. It is a type of targeted chemotherapy that does not yield any side effects nor does it harm any other organs (unlike other chemotherapies). This drug was fast-tracked to FDA approval by the 2010 Nesvig fellow.
I believe that this drug gave me the ability to graduate on time. It did not keep me out of school, unlike the other chemotherapies I received in the past.
I was nervous for many reasons. Not only did these people help me graduate on time, my doctor, Dr. Forman, whom only does one event a year, was going to speak at the event as well. Oh, did I mention that all of my new employers were going to be there too? I was recently hired at Fox Sports; Jon Nesvig worked for Fox for over 20 years. Yikes!
The great Joe Buck hosted the event. Separate from this event, I have idolized him for years, secretly aspiring to do what he does. Not to mention, the attendees were comprised of every TV sports network, pretty much my kind of people, sports and television.
There were so many emotions running through my mind the day of the event. I kept saying, “I don’t want to let my doctor down, I want to really show the Nesvig family how much they mean to me, I don’t want to mess up because of all my employers were there.” There was a lot riding on this speech for me. In the end, all that mattered was telling the Nesvig family what a positive impact they have made on my life.
I nailed the speech. How do I know that? Because I cried, a lot. If you know me, I have a tough time connecting to my speeches. Before I even got to the stage I was emotional. I left the stage emotional, happy, and with a standing ovation. I was greeted left and right by everybody in attendance, and I really let myself go when I hugged my mom.
At that point, when I hugged my mom, I was so grateful for everything I have in my life. It didn’t mater to me that I battled cancer for five years, all that mattered to me was that I was paying it forward and in gratitude for everyone that had been there for me through my struggles.
One of the most memorable moments of the event came right after I spoke.
Joe Buck took the stage and said, “This is the hardest part of my job, having to follow people like Ben. Wait Ben, why are you behind the camera, you belong in FRONT of the camera.” Joe Buck said that I belonged in front of the camera. If you know me, or Joe Buck, that is a life-changing compliment.
He proceeded to say, “O yeah ESPN, that’s one other thing you don’t have, you don’t have Ben Teller, we (Fox Sports) do.” WOAH! Now Joe Buck is bragging about me. It was one of the best moments of my life. (The reason that compliment was said by Joe Buck is because Fox Sports 1 is launching August 17th, and is going to be competing with ESPN).
The night ended with me meeting some really amazing people. People that all worked at Fox, people that all made a difference in my life. I will always take the opportunity to tell my story for those who cannot tell theirs. I will always pay it forward for those who have helped me along the way. I will always fight as hard as I can in an effort to defeat this disease that effects hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Here is a link to the speech: http://youtu.be/g6ePPB3PewY
Make sure to listen to Joe Buck at the end…
-This was posted by COH earlier this week. If you have some time, check it out. There is also a podcast connected!
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