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A Thursday morning came and went in early January. Then a Friday and then a Saturday. Then a February and then a March. The spring turned to summer and summers were made for kids, but summers never last. Troy Iturralde was made for summer. He was just 16 and a baseball player. This was to be his summer, if not for that Thursday morning in early January.
Troy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Testicular Cancer last April. Like many boys, young men and old men, “pain” is accepted as part of life and life goes on if no one questions the pain. Fortunately, most girls are taught at an early to recognize the changes in their bodies and to listen to the aches that can’t be brushed off as coming from growth spurts or from being tired. Why not boys?
One of Troy Iturralde’s best friends, @TucsonBadgers Xavier “X” Torres talks about knowing Troy since T-Ball, reuniting with him in high school then losing him again. Plus playing in his Memorial game pic.twitter.com/Z6Zuio0FpU
— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) May 23, 2022
Troy wanted to get the word out to his friends to get themselves checked out. In our community, that list of friends on the baseball diamond is lengthy. He left us that Thursday morning but his wish remains and that wish is carried forward by his family. Some of us can relate to the pain of losing a child but most of us fear the unknown and search for ways to help. One way to help is to have your sons and grandsons checked.
The “Troy Iturralde Memorial Game” took place Sunday afternoon at the Kino Sports Complex. The game obviously brought back memories of Troy but, more importantly, it helped keep his wish alive by bringing awareness to testicular cancer and, possibly, other cancers and illnesses that might be discovered if we didn’t ignore the pain.
Two teams assembled in his honor and all the players were former teammates of Troy’s, from Little League, club and high school. “Billy’s Boys” won the game over the “Foot Soldiers” 9-3 but Troy was the winner. This is his summer.