Surely you've seen the bumper stickers, visited the website or, perhaps, worn the T-shirt.
"Save the ta-tas" is a brilliant campaign for breast cancer awareness.
So it doesn't take a perfect MCAT score to grasp the aim of Zac Allen's website.
Allen, a Newport News resident and amateur mixed martial arts fighter, has testicular cancer. He is 28 and determined not only to beat the disease but also to help others in the process.
"My dad is a cancer survivor of 23 years," Allen says. "He had prostate and intestinal cancer, and they gave him pretty slim chances. I've got two aunts who have beaten breast cancer. My grandmother's also a survivor.
"So it seems to target the family, but our family seems to target it right back. It definitely helps having some people who know the routine."
Allen and his family moved to the Peninsula from Connecticut when he was 13. He wrestled as a 152-pounder for Doug Roper at Tabb High, earning Daily Press All-Stars honors as a senior.
MMA fighting was a natural extension, and he's been on the local circuit — Scope, Ted Constant Center, Hampton Coliseum, Hampton Convention Center — for about seven years.
"I almost felt like I had an advantage on guys who were used to fighting on their feet," Allen says, "because most (MMA) fights end up on the ground, and that's where wrestlers are most comfortable."
Allen was preparing for a July 17 bout in Virginia Beach when he felt something amiss.
"I was in the shower," he says. "For about a week or so before, I had kind of a dull pain, nothing that couldn't be dealt with. It was pretty easy to ignore, as a matter of fact. But I found the shape (of a testicle) a little off and decided it wasn't worth wasting any time."
An ultrasound revealed the cancer, and two weeks later, surgeons removed Allen's right testicle. A subsequent CT scan showed the cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes.
"That's when they really decided to kick it into gear and nip it in the bud as soon as possible," Allen says.
He began chemotherapy Tuesday at Hampton's Sentara CarePlex Hospital. Four cycles of five days a week, five hours a day, each cycle separated by a two-week break.
Then, reassessment. Has the chemo worked? Does Allen need surgery to remove lymph nodes and portions of his lungs? What about more chemo? Has the cancer, an aggressive form called non-seminoma, spread further?
The medical terminology and countless appointments make a patient dizzy. Allen's girlfriend, Bethany Marshall, also a MMA fighter, organizes it all on her laptop and iPad.
Doctors "definitely sound pretty confident and I've got no reason to not be just as confident," Allen says via cellphone as the chemo drips into a port in his left shoulder. "This is something that can be defeated. People do it fairly often."
Allen is a long-time employee of Hydracrete Services, a small, Yorktown-based concrete firm. He has health insurance, and short-term disability covers about half his pay. But mortgage payments and medical bills have mounted in a hurry, prompting Allen's home gym to pitch in.
Mamma's Boys in Yorktown — Modern American Mixed Martial Arts — is staging a day-long fundraiser Saturday featuring fights, a silent auction, 50-50 raffle and free self-defense seminars.
"It's a tribute to Zac and who he is," says Nick White, the gym's owner. "He's very positive, the life of the party. He has so much energy, and he never sits down. It's the craziest thing. He stands and walks constantly."
"I've never really been on the receiving end of that kind of thoughtfulness," Allen says, pacing in his living room. "It's nice. But the support of people who say they're thinking about me or praying for me, that stuff goes much further than any check they can cut."
Support and thoughtfulness are the ideas behind savethemarbles.com. Allen wants to share his story with other victims and to encourage all men to monitor their bodies.
All it took for Allen was a routine shower.
"Looking back, little things are kind of standing out," he says. "I was a little more fatigued at work, and I noticed every now and then that my balance was a little bit off. I've always had good balance. I surfed for awhile and picked that up easily, and between the wrestling and fighting, I've just always had good balance.
"But you chalk that up to stress or you didn't have a good breakfast. As far as physical pain, nothing that would catch your attention."
Chemo's charming side effects have yet to strike Allen, and perhaps he'll be among the fortunate who dodge them. One he's determined to avoid is losing his hair.
Allen has quite the mane, and before chemo steals it, he wants to donate it to Locks of Love. He laughs as he recalls total strangers telling him he needed a haircut.
"That's pretty damn ballsy," he says without a trace of irony. "So of course that's only going to make me want to grow it out a little bit longer and longer. I'm Italian, so my hair grows fast anyway.
"It seems like kind of a waste to let this chemo get ahold of it before somebody else who could need it. This area's been good to me. I'd just like to see it go to somebody local."
When Allen isn't tethered to the chemo IV, he's at the gym helping other fighters or at home with Marshall and their two dogs. He works in the shop he built in the backyard, experiments on his massive grill and strums the banjo Marshall gave him recently as a birthday present.
The good Lord willing, he'll return to the ring.
"One of the reasons I started fighting was to test myself," Allen says. "I wanted to see just how much I could do, just how far I could push it. Just who I'm better than. What am I going to do in a situation where somebody has the better of me? …
"Somebody might have you on your back. Or somebody might be 10 seconds from choking you unconscious, and you decide you have just enough energy to get them off of you. That's certainly applied here. I know how far my limits have been pushed and this, as it is now, hasn't even begun to touch the limits I can withstand.
"If it does, I welcome the test. I welcome the challenge. It doesn't stand much of a chance, though."
Zac Allen fundraiser
WHEN: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Mamma's Boys Gym, 107 Production Dr., Yorktown
WHAT: MMA fights, food and drinks, free self-defense seminars, silent auction, 50-50 raffle.
DETAILS: Call 342-3600.
ONLINE: Savethemarbles.com and twitter.com/SaveTheMarblesCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun