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The Odd Balls Journey & Functional Mushrooms

Updated: Jun 26

From Cancer Diagnosis to Funguy Blend Creation

Jon Carter standing near frozen lake in Minnesota.
Jon Carter, Odd Balls Founder

Hello, I'm Jon Carter, the man behind Odd Balls - Funguy. I'm a skier, an adventurer, and a cancer thriver. My journey is anything but ordinary. At the age of 30, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. But instead of letting this diagnosis define me, I used it as a catalyst for change, leading to the creation of Odd Balls. My story is one of resilience, determination, and a refusal to be defined by my circumstances. It's a story that I hope inspires you to live life to the fullest, no matter the odds.

The Diagnosis: Testicular Cancer

In the fall of 2021, my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was devastating to say the least and took everything, including the support of my friends, family, and partner to not lose my zest for life. Cancer had literally kicked me in the balls, but I was determined to kick back.

Testicular cancer, while extremely rare, is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 34. The diagnosis came as a shock, as it would to anyone who felt like they were in their prime years. Within a week, I underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and then followed it up with four months of chemotherapy treatment and multiple biopsies. It took a lot to maintain my strength and most importantly, my humor during that long winter.

Jon Carter in surgery and active chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer.

The Secret Weapon: Functional Mushrooms

While undergoing chemo treatment, I discovered the extraordinary benefits of functional mushrooms. These mushrooms, specifically Lion's Mane and Cordyceps, as well as Turkey Tail, became my secret weapon, bolstering my stamina and keeping me clear-headed during and after each chemo cycle.

Functional mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and recent research has begun to uncover their potential health benefits. Lion's Mane, for example, is known to support brain health and cognitive function, while Cordyceps is known for its energy-boosting properties and has even been used as an infusion to treat testicular cancer patients.

I began incorporating these functional mushrooms into my diet, and I quickly noticed a difference. I had more energy, my mind was sharper, and I felt stronger overall allowing me to continue treatment each cycle. These mushrooms, I realized, were more than just a dietary ingredient. They were a lifeline.

First image is of Lion's Mane mushrooms and the second is of Cordyceps mushrooms.

The Birth of Odd Balls

Inspired by my own journey and the power of functional mushrooms, I decided to create Odd Balls. These energy balls, made of organic nuts, dried fruit, and a special Funguy Blend of Lion's Mane and Cordyceps extracts, are designed to promote your body’s natural energy levels, support your focus, clarity, and memory, and contribute to your overall immune health.

Odd Balls package.

Odd Balls are more than just a tasty snack. I created them to be a symbol of resilience, a reminder to check for odd balls, bumps, or lumps, and most importantly, a way to support young adults impacted by cancer. With every purchase, a portion of the profits is donated to nonprofits focused on supporting young adults with cancer.

These energy balls are a tool to ring the alarm about cancer in young adults, but to do so in a humorous way that helps individuals see the positive side of being proactive.

A New Journey Begins

Today, I am not just a cancer survivor. I'm a thriver. I'm using my experience to raise awareness about testicular cancer, promote the benefits of functional mushrooms, and provide a healthy, organic snack for outdoor enthusiasts and health-conscious shoppers alike.

With Odd Balls in your snack pack, you're not just fueling your body. You're supporting a cause, promoting long-term health, and joining a community of thrivers who believe in living life to the fullest, no matter the odds.

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