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Sum 41 guitarist shares his cancer experience

Dave Baksh Canadian musician, singer and lead guitarist of rock band Sum 41 and his fiancée Kendra Kendell

Musician Dave Baksh was getting ready to finally begin touring again with his band, Sum 41. As the lead guitarist, Dave couldn’t wait to get on the road after being unable to tour for 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in February 2022, his plans came to a sudden halt when he noticed a lump in his testicle.

While Dave felt uncomfortable going into the check-up, his eagerness to receive a diagnosis was more important.

“The examination felt awkward but the need to know what was going on outweighed any of the awkwardness during that situation,” Dave shares.

Following an appointment with a urologist, Dave made the decision to undergo surgery, which would involve a 6-to-8-week recovery period. This meant that Dave might miss out on tour dates with his band. He was devastated.

“It was the support of my family, friends and bandmates that meant I was able to feel less overwhelmed,” says Dave.

However, thanks to the quick action of his medical team, Dave recovered from his surgery just in time to get back to doing what he loved most.

“It was only at my follow up appointment after the surgery when my doctor was able to confirm that I did indeed have testicular cancer,” says Dave. “So, it was a situation where all your worst fears come true. But they immediately quashed it because the doctor was like, 'we got it.’ And then a few weeks later, I found out that I was clear of cancer. It felt amazing.”

Dave has since been living cancer free and continues to speak about the importance of early screening and taking care of one’s health.

“I’m happy that I can share my story, which involves me being proactive,” says Dave. “As soon as people feel that something is wrong, they should go and get it checked out. It’s important to live life to the fullest, and it’s not possible when you’re putting things like that off.”

During the summer of 2022, Dave participated in Relay for Life for the first time. He attended alongside his fiancée, Kendra Kendell, who has been participating for 8 years. Dave joined other cancer survivors on the Relay field for the survivors’ lap. It meant a lot to him to connect with people who had gone through similar experiences.

“During the survivor’s lap, I was able to absorb a lot of good energy and positivity,” Dave says. “It was a reflective moment for me. Being able share our experiences made me realize the importance of investing in cancer research and good healthcare.”

Dave strongly encourages others to sign up for Relay for Life and support the Canadian Cancer Society’s work to change the future of cancer forever.

“By joining Relay for Life, you can be a part of something that’s really positive and actually helps,” Dave shares.

Join us for Relay For Life on June 10 to move and be moved. Find your local event and sign up today at relayforlife.ca.