Student Spotlight: Jason Greenspan
Senior marketing major, Jason
Greenspan, had to defer his enrollment to Shippensburg University in 2012 when
he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Four years later, he transformed his
life-changing diagnosis into a life-saving message and a Guinness Book of World
Records attempt at Ship.
“I’m a four-year testicular
cancer survivor, and I knew that going into my last semester at Ship I wanted
to leave my legacy with testicular cancer awareness at the university,”
On Nov. 6, 2017, Greenspan and the Shippensburg
University community, with the support of Summit Health and the Testicular
Cancer Awareness Foundation, attempted the world’s largest simultaneous
self-check for testicular cancer during the #ShipsGotBalls event. Greenspan
hoped to coordinate a simultaneous testicular self-check by 209 men. Ship surpassed
the record with a total of 235 participants.
“Testicular cancer is the
most common type of cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 44, but it is 99
percent curable if detected early. Holding this event on a college campus to spread
awareness is important because it can save a life,” he said.
While Greenspan’s motivation
for the attempt was personal, he credits his experience as a marketing major at
Ship for giving him the skills needed to organize and promote the event. Courses
in marketing, advertising, fundraising and public relations have taught him something
that relates to the planning and execution of this event.
He also put those classes to
work during a summer internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Working
with Dr. Phillip Pierorazio, director of testicular cancer, Greenspan organized
several awareness and survival events.
“A few of my projects included
organizing a quarterly survivor social, co-writing and filming a PSA and
writing a testicular cancer awareness survey,” he said.
Returning to Ship after his
summer internship, he hit the ground running to plan #ShipsGotBalls. From the
attempt application process, to recruiting Summit Health as a sponsor,
Greenspan has done it all. He engaged the entire campus community by working
with athletics, clubs and Greek organizations. He also reached beyond the
campus community to spread the word through local media features and social media
He even created the
attention-grabbing logo and name, in part, to start humorous conversations, but
with a greater hope to change the stigma surrounding testicular cancer
self-exams. As an outspoken four-year cancer survivor, he knows the topic of
testicular cancer is often accompanied by jokes. He hopes to normalize
self-exams to the level of the national “Feel your Boobies” campaign and
ultimately save more lives.
Graduating in December 2017, Greenspan
is waiting on the official ruling from Guinness on the world record, but will
continue his advocacy. He hopes to find a career where he can continue raising
testicular cancer awareness.
“This experience changed my
life in so many ways but ultimately, it’s made me the person I am today. It’s made
stronger, more confident, passionate and gave me a reason to live. I was in the
fight for my life but I could see the end— the end of cancer and my new
beginning of life as a cancer survivor.”