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His father, Michael, had died from Motor Neurone Disease when he was just eight years old, and he didn't want to worry his mother, Patricia, who had her hands full raising four children on her own.
"I didn't have any sort of father figure to talk to, so I just ignored it and hoped it would go away on its own.
"This is the first time I've ever written anything.
"Things like that, or trying to go the swimming pool, were very embarrassing, or if I was on my feet for a long time I'd feel it getting heavy and there'd be an ache from the dragging nature of it." What Michael wouldn't learn for three years was that it was a hydrocele testis, a harmless build-up of fluid around the testicle that causes the scrotum to swell.It didn't, and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger," he explains."I was terrified about it, but I just put it to the back of my brain and ignored it.I had to go for an ultrasound on a Saturday, and you never get an ultrasound on a Saturday with the NHS, you have to wait, so that made us think it was something really serious." After a gruelling weekend, Michael's results came back, and he was told it was a hydrocele.The doctors explained that the testis is generally surrounded by lubricating fluid, and excess fluid is absorbed by an outer membrane, but that the membrane had stopped working.