Tyrone needs $60,000 to fund removal of ever-growing scrotum
IMAGINE carrying a watermelon between your legs that weighs close to 3kg.
It's a burden Willowbank's Tyrone Bowd endures each day, after being diagnosed with a rare ailment in which his scrotum will not stop growing.
The condition, called scrotal lymphedema, has seen the 24-year-old's scrotum swell to his knees.
It puts his life at risk with infections that make his heart race, his temperature soar and his body turn septic.
In the past 11 months, Tyrone has been hospitalised three times to be treated for such life-threatening infections.
His large scrotum has also made it difficult for Mr Bowd to walk and forced him to give up riding his dirt bike - his favourite activity.
Tyrone's mum - and full-time carer - Tanya said her autistic son's unique medical problem was beyond the expertise of doctors in Australia.
She said Tyrone's best hope was to travel to the US to have his inflamed scrotum surgically removed by specialist urologist Dr Joel Gelman.
To make that happen, the family needs to raise at least $60,000.
"The target was $100,000 but Dr Gelman generously offered to waive his fee," Mrs Bowd said.
The tale of Tyrone's struggle gained media attention earlier this year, when the family began fundraising for the costly surgery.
Despite best efforts though, they are still $28,000 short of their target.
"I've been overwhelmed with the generosity and support from people who have helped us. There are too many to thank," Mrs Bowd said.
"However, scraping together the money to help Tyrone has not been an easy task.
"The sooner we get this surgery the better. We don't want his ailment getting to the point where his scrotum has swollen down to his ankles."
Mrs Bowd said the cause of Tyrone's ever-growing scrotum was unclear, but believed it may have resulted from an earlier burn injury to her son's groin area.
"We had a campfire and as Tyrone was throwing sticks onto the flames, his nylon pants caught on fire," she said.
"It's my understanding the scar tissue from those burns caused a blockage in his lymphatic system which now doesn't allow fluid to drain from the area."
As he waits for surgery, Tyrone has had to adapt to his awkward anatomy.
Basketball shorts are the only pants loose enough to fit him and on hot days his groin area is prone to heat rash.
"The larger his scrotum gets, the more difficult things are going to be for Tyrone," Mrs Bowd said.
You can assist Tyrone by depositing your donation into The Road Ahead for Tyrone account, BSB 064 776, account no 1005 7571.
A fundraiser will also be held for him today at McDonald's in Brassall from 1pm-2pm. It will feature appearances from characters such as Dora the Explorer and Minnie the Mouse.