Valley dad holds Ballapalooza to remember son

Mike Muriett lost his 19-year-old son to testicular cancer in 2012. It’s the most common cancer for men between the ages of 15 and 35 and Mike is on a mission to raise awareness and money to fight the disease.

- In an emergency room in Phoenix back in 2012, Justin Muriett got the news that would drastically change and eventually take his life.

"At that age, he was 19, you're not prepared to hear that word," said Mike Muriett, Justin's father.

Testicular cancer had already spread throughout his body and his father saw only one warning sign.

"He had pretty bad back pain for about two weeks, but he had helped his mom move, thought he pulled a muscle," he said.

The diagnosis left the family in shock and confused, that a cancer like this would pick someone so young.

"The people you're heard who have had it, you know, Lance Armstrong or whoever it is, are older, but once we started looking more into it, it's actually the most common cancer for men age 15 to 35," he said.

After one last trip to Disneyland, living out his dream of meeting the band Linkin Park and a final Diamondbacks baseball game with his family, cancer took Justin's life a month before he would've turned 20-years-old.

"Never knew that that was the age group until it happened to us," he said.

But music has helped Justin's father cope and heal and after years of working up to it, this weekend, a big, charitable production is happening.

"You hear the Lollapalooza music festival, and I'm like 'It's for testicular cancer, so why not Ballapalooza,'" he said.

This Saturday it's happening, with 18 performances and every dime will go to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. Although Mike says his son wouldn't want the spotlight, it's not only to honor Justin, but to fight to find a cure.

"He would think that the attention didn't need to be about him," he said.

For more information on the festival, click here.

For more information on testicular cancer awareness, click here.

 


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