The DT38 Foundation was founded in the loving memory of Dylan Tombides, the promising West Ham United and Australia U23 striker, who tragically passed away on April 18, 2014, at the tender age of 20 after sadly succumbing to a well-documented battle with cancer; the determined and resilient Perth-born professional footballer was initially diagnosed with testicular cancer thereafter the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which was hosted across seven cities in Mexico.
However, the upbeat Australian, who was of the Greek diaspora, was loved and admired by many individuals who encountered him the courtesy of his humility, kind-heartedness, and strong perseverance, both on and off the pitch. The talented Aussie frontman, who positively fought through the daily uncertainty, while diagnosed with cancer, bravely continued competing, for both club and country, post-cancer diagnosis until his very untimely and deeply saddening death six years ago.
The DT38 Foundation, a registered charity, which collaborates with Checkemlads testicular cancer, was officially founded by Tracylee Tombides, Dylan’s mother, and co-founded by Taylor Tombides, Dylan’s brother; a former Hull City and West Ham United academy player.
In September 2015, Down Under in Australia at the Perth Oval, the late professional footballer, who played as a forward, was immortalized with the honorific and emotional unveiling of a memorial statue outside of the 20,500 capacity HBF Park, the home stadium of reigning A-League champions Perth Glory FC; one of Australia’s most popular top-flight professional football clubs.
Throughout Australia, the DT38 Foundation continues to grow stronger courtesy of free testicular cancer screenings for men, coupled alongside the DT38 Foundation educating the Australian general public at large about the great importance of health and wellbeing in Australia.
Elsewhere, on the other side of the hemisphere, Premier League club West Ham United honored the late Aussie with a very special memorial stone on Champions Place, a tribute situated outside of West Ham United’s London Stadium in Stratford. Dylan Tombides and Bobby Moore remain as the only two professional footballers in the storied 124-year club history of West Ham United to have had their shirt numbers officially retired by the club; Barking-born Moore sadly died of cancer in 1993 aged 51.
Moreover, the DT38 Foundation has an array of reputable ambassadors, both Down Under and in the UK, currently serving to selflessly raise wider educational awareness and funds for testicular cancer, such as, Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee, former Australia and Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak, Sky Sports broadcaster reporter Bianca Westwood, former Australia defender Simon Colosimo, England and West Ham United star Declan Rice, Talksport presenter Ian “Moose” Abrahams, Josh Cullen, former West Ham United striker Carlton Cole, Sky Sports personality broadcaster Heather Miller, former West Ham United and England manager Sam Allardyce, Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins, current West Ham United captain Mark Noble and former Australia winger Stan Lazaridis, a Perth-born Greek-Australian, who played for West Ham United for four years (1995-1999), to name a few of the many prominent DT38 Foundation Ambassadors throughout both Australia and the United Kingdom.
DT38 Foundation School engagements, which provides educational workshops and seminars throughout communities (both in Australia and the UK), for ages 7-10, 11-12 and 13 plus, stands as a shining beacon of hope and prosperity for individuals from all backgrounds and ages to steadfastly improve their overall health and wellbeing in life; West Ham United works closely with the DT38 Foundation. The DT38 Foundation has also recently launched its 3.80 funding appeal, Check 1-2 campaign.
FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta briefly caught up with Sky Sports broadcast reporter, Bianca Westwood, an ambassador for the DT38 Foundation and a devoted West Ham United supporter, to discuss the immensely positive impact of the DT38 Foundation in Australia and the UK, eradicating the unfair and outdated stigma amongst men attached to testicular cancer screenings, as well as the Bow-born Sky Sports Soccer Saturday television personality sharing fascinating insight on the DT38 Foundation’s fundraising initiatives facilitated by the highly devoted and very caring DT38 Foundation team.
Dean Perretta: Bianca, can you explain more about your role with the DT38 Foundation and, of course, what it means personally to everyone associated with the charity to positively inspire the community and keep Dylan’s memory alive?
Bianca Westwood: When Tracylee Tombides asked me to become an Ambassador for DT38 I didn’t hesitate to accept. As a West Ham fan, I obviously knew about Dylan’s tragic loss and I was honored that his mum would want me to take an active role in keeping his memory alive by raising awareness about testicular cancer, as well as boosting the funds needed with which to combat the disease. I have five brothers (Yes five!), I have a male partner and two nephews, so I am well aware of how crucial it is to bring this cause to the forefront of male minds. Without being patronizing, men aren’t always open to talking about health issues or checking their bits, so it was important to me to help change that in any way I can. It’s vital that men and boys communicate with each other about the importance of examining themselves and remove the stigma and embarrassment surrounding men’s health ‘down under’.
Dean Perretta: With regards to the endless dedication and passion of the DT38 Foundation, can you touch on the diligent work behind-the-scenes and the great people who founded the charity?
Bianca Westwood: Every mother’s worst nightmare is to lose a child. I cannot imagine what Tracylee and her family must have gone through losing Dylan. Despite what must have been crushing grief, she somehow found the strength to create the DT38 Foundation to keep Dylan’s memory alive and establish a strong legacy in his name. I admire her so much that her thoughts were to try to prevent this from happening again to others so that other families wouldn’t have to experience the unbearable loss she suffered. She works tirelessly to promote the charity, connect with new ambassadors, launch different fundraising events, and ultimately raise funds to research, treat and beat the disease. She was successful in gaining the support of West Ham United, which has been a massive platform for the charity, not only in the UK but on a global scale. Players past and present, like Carlton Cole and Mark Noble, have agreed to become ambassadors and fans across the game have got behind the cause. Dylan is forever in the hearts and minds of the Hammers devotees but Tracy and her team (at the DT38 Foundation) have managed to unite fans from all different clubs. With support across the football spectrum they have fostered a real “football family” ethos within the foundation because as we all know and remind ourselves often, cancer has no colors.
Dean Perretta: With that being said, can you reveal more about the very inspirational DT38 Foundation events and initiatives which you proudly continue to be involved with?
Bianca Westwood: There are various initiatives that I have been involved with or helped to promote. They have held white-collar boxing events held at York Hall (In Bethnal Green) which were very popular, organized charity football matches and golf and race days, quiz nights, launched a DT38 clothing range with proceeds going to support the foundation. They recently created the Check 1-2 campaign, with videos of professional (football) players urging men to self-check their testicles on the first day of every month. They also work in tandem with other charities like Checkemlads to pool resources and education because together we’re stronger. The partnership can offer support to men and their families affected by the disease, help organize free scans, give information and advice on diagnosis, answer questions and share real experience from those who have beat the illness themselves.
Dean Perretta: Where can the audience stay connected and find out more about the DT38 Foundation?
Bianca Westwood: It’s a difficult time for everyone across the world at the moment with the Covid-19 pandemic but understanding testicular cancer is as vital as ever because of the strain on health services. The need for men to check themselves regularly has never been more important because early detection of testicular cancer dramatically improves the treatment outcomes and chances of survival. To mark the month of April being Testicular Cancer Awareness month, the DT38 Foundation is sharing a fact about the disease on Twitter every day. You can find this and lots more on Twitter @DylanTombides. If you would like more details on the illness or charity itself please check out their website www.dt38.co.uk, Instagram @DT38Foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org, they’re on Facebook www.facebook.com/
DT38Foundation. You can subscribe to the DT38 Foundation YouTube channel, you can sign up for the official #Channel38 newsletter or you could go the old fashioned way and give them a call on +4420 34941482. We have all bases covered!
Dean Perretta: Lastly, where can the general public kindly pledge donations to the DT38 Foundation?
Bianca Westwood: Sadly Dylan Tombides passed away from testicular cancer six years ago this month. He achieved so much in his life and was taken from his family, his friends, and the game of football too soon. Please help cherish his memory and help others survive this deadly disease by donating whatever you can to the DT38 Foundation on the website www.dt38.co.uk
Because of Coronavirus, there has been a huge decrease in fundraising for charities. Tracylee (Tombides) has had to cancel several fundraising events, including golf days, race nights, and a quiz night. They rely heavily on fundraising and donations, so DT38 has launched a new appeal called the 3.80 appeals to help secure the future of the foundation. 100% of donations go to raising awareness of testicular cancer.
com/charity-web/charity/ displaycharitycampaignpage. action?charitycampaignurl= dt38fundingappeal
We know that times are tough for people right now, so you could also help by volunteering or fundraising with the foundation. We are eternally grateful for your support.