By Amanda Stringfellow @amanda_l_s
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Tyrone Bowd, 25, has been diagnosed with scrotal lymphedema and over the past two years his scrotum has swelled from the size of a mango to the size of a watermelon.
Tyrone’s mother, Tanya Bowd, a mother-of-four from Willowbank, Australia, is raising money to get Tyrone life-saving treatment in California, USA.
But the family is yet to reach the $100,000 needed for the travel and the treatment.
Tanya said: “Tyrone’s scrotum has continued to grow. He’s got to walk with his legs apart.
“The scrotum has reached below his knees now. It bangs around on the back of his calves when he’s trying to walk.”
Tyrone, the eldest of four siblings, was diagnosed at a young age with developmental delay and autism and still needs a lot of day-to-day help.
Two years ago, Tanya responded to a call for help when Tyrone was in the shower.
Tanya said: “I caught a glimpse of his scrotum and said: 'Forget about the shower, what has happened to you? There’s something wrong.'”
Tyrone’s scrotum had swollen to the size of mango but ultrasounds at the local hospital revealed no clues to the cause of the immense swelling.
For several months medical professionals remained baffled by the condition and Tyrone’s scrotum continued to grow.
“His pants were no longer fitting, we went from one size to the next to the next - we had to look for bigger shorts and bigger trousers,” Tanya said.
“I haven’t even seen watermelons the size of his scrotum now.”
Tyrone’s scrotum recently weighed in at 12 pounds – meaning Tyrone spends every day with almost a stone in weight hanging down between his legs.
After months of test and examinations Tyrone was diagnosed with scrotal lymphedema – a condition which affects only 140 million people worldwide.
A urologist from California, USA, Dr Joel Gelman, has been examining Tyrone’s condition using medical reports and images.
Dr Gelman said: “Scrotal lymphedema is a condition that develops gradually, the tissues under the skin outside the testicle grow and that causes significant enlargement of the skin and the penis to be buried so it can’t be seen.
“When a man develops scrotal lymphedema as the mass enlarges the patient becomes progressively incapacitated.
“Over time patients can lose the ability to walk normally and that affects them physically and can affect them emotionally as well.”
Tyrone’s enlarged scrotum has led him to being hospitalised with cellulitis four times in the last 18 months.
The bacteria under the skin can also trigger septicaemia which is life threatening.
But Dr Gelman believes there is hope in Tyrone’s future as his tumour is still small enough to be treated.
“The good news is that his problem isn’t as advanced as those of our other patients,” Dr Gelman said.
“I believe that Tyrone at our medical centre (In California, USA) would very likely have a very positive outcome.”
But travelling from Australia to California for treatment will cost as much as $100,000 – which could take years for Tanya to raise.
Tanya and her family have so far raised $60,000 through fundraising events and are still $40,000 short of their target.
Tanya said: “The scrotum is getting so big that he must be in a lot of pain.
"We just want Tyrone to get better. We want our Tyrone back.”
Tyrone's story appears in the new series of Body Bizarre, Thursday September 17, 9pm, TLC