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Remembering a Dad Lost to Testicular Cancer

Welcome Home Dad – Francis O’Connell


Frankie O’Connell Jr. passed away in April 2004 after a ten month battle with testicular cancer. With his passing he left behind 3 children, Jaclyn, Frankie III and Ryan. Nine years later, as a freshman in college, Frankie III, composed a charcoal drawing that really shows a glimpse into how testicular cancer and the loss of his dad has affected his life.


In Frankie III’s words:

Welcome Home Dad – Francis O’Connell

This piece was a charcoal drawing done for my Drawing II. The prompt was a transgender self portrait, but I pushed that to be more of a metaphorical sense. The hammer and beer bottle symbolize the things I never got to do with my dad for the first time, build or fix things, learn how to construct, and have my first beer with my dad. My dad passed of testicular cancer when I was nine and that what the misshapen and deformed genital area represents. So to fit the transgender guidelines, I feel that I missed out on learning these things that society says makes you a man. This piece is 6 feet tall by about 2 and a half feet.

Welcome Home Dad

4 Responses to “Remembering a Dad Lost to Testicular Cancer”

  • Shawn O'Connell:

    Hello! My name is Shawn Marie O’Connell. Frank O’Connell, Jr. was my husband. Frankie O’Connell, III is my son. I’m not sure who gave you the information for the article, but Frank battled cancer for two days shy of 10 months ….not two years. Thank you for posting my son’s artwork to your blog!! He is an amazing artist and I know his Dad is watching him from heaven every moment!!

  • Linda Weaver:

    I got to meet Frank several times and have had to opportunity to be with Frankie III, at various family functions. The death of his father was tragic to say the least and I love the artwork and accompanying words very much. It shows a soul who lost his father way too soon.
    I’m proud of you Frankie III.

  • Kelly Weaver:

    Frank O’Connell Jr. was my older brother who we all continue to miss everyday. Although his time from diagnoses to the time of his death was 10 months, Frank’s battle with testicular cancer began months before his diagnoses.
    Frank’s cancer went undetected for a long time. I think that with the resources about the importance of regular self exams and websites like this one, Frank would have had a much better chance of beating this.
    I appreciate Mike, from the Testicular Cancer Society, for taking the time to hear of my brothers story and more importantly, giving my nephew’s artwork a chance to be shown. Sometimes adults forget to ask kids how they are feeling about things and this picture said it all. I am very proud of Frankie, Jackie, and their younger brother Ryan, and I am very thankful that we have them.

  • Mike:

    Hello Shawn, thank you for coming to our blog and we appreciate you helping us in correcting our information. We have made the corrections to our post and hope you enjoyed it. We certainly enjoyed Frankie III’s work.

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