Atlantic City native talks failures, successes and the importance of testicular self-exams

Scott Petinga thrives on failure and rejection.
The Atlantic City native returned to his hometown Tuesday to talk about the success he found by following his passion no matter how many bumps he hit along the way.
That includes a battle with testicular cancer whose treatment he says made him a super hero and led to a lasting mission to have men focus on checking below the belt the way women have been taught to “save the boobs.”
Petinga, 44, listed his many failures during an hour-long talk before the Public Relations Council of Greater Atlantic City, where pointed to the group’s president as a mentor.
“I met William A. Cradle one summer day… and it truly was the impetus to who I am today,” Petinga writes in his book, “No One Ever Drown in Sweat.”
“I just saw something in him,” Cradle said of the self-trained artist and graphic designer who was then honing his craft in front of a computer in his parents’ bedroom.
Petinga started working for Cradle’s graphic design firm, Atlantic Color Limited.
Speaking of that meeting was one of several times Petinga became emotional during his speech, a lasting side effect of the cancer treatments that forever changed his hormones and his body.
But the battle also gave him new creations.
The instance of testicular cancer has continued to rise over the past couple of decades.
About 8,850 new cases are expected this year, with an estimated 410 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. One out of every 263 men will develop it as some point in their lives.
Yet, unlike breast cancer, there isn’t a heavy marketing campaign for men to self-examine.
Petinga himself made the discovery courtesy of some newlywed time with his now-ex-wife.
About a month into their marriage, she grabbed his groin and discovered a lump.
He decided the message needed to get out. So, he went to underwear companies to try to include a flier about the importance of men to check themselves.
Rejection followed. But that just pushed Petinga to create his own line.
A worldwide search for the right fabric led to an office full of underwear and Cleancool, a Chinese fiber that repels bacteria.
Without a fly and with some lift in the butt, each pair of Pariah underwear includes a self-exam flier with 50 percent of the proceeds going to men’s health research.
Petinga then took his flier idea to the condom companies: Durex, Trojan, Skyn. Rejections again.
And, thus, Rouse was born.
The condoms — with 75 percent of the proceeds going to men’s health initiatives — are packaged not to look like a sex product and come with animal names, including Elephant for large and Rabbit for long-lasting.
Petinga brought 50,000 of the plain “Lion” condoms to Atlantic City for the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.
They came just in time for World AIDS Day on Friday, noted COO Georgett Watson
“We’re really excited,” Watson said. “This frees up funding to be able to buy other things for our clients.”
Petinga made his money in marketing, but wasn’t happy with how the corporate world treated its employees. So, he went out on his own, making $1 million in the first year.
He went on to create 14 companies, which basically run themselves courtesy of employees he hires based on gut not resume and who can set their own schedules as long as the job gets done.
He credits his GRIT, which stands for guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity.
It’s in the subtitle of his book: “G.R.I.T. — The Stuff of Leaders and Champions,” copies of which he gave out to Tuesday’s attendees.
He also signed copies at the Ocean City Library on Tuesday night.
The books benefit his Fairy Foundation, which he likened to Make A Wish for adults who have life-threatening medical conditions. Most, he said, are women in their 30s with children.
But he said he wrote it for his three daughters: 8-year-old twins Brooklyn and Bristol, who were born via in vitro due to his cancer, and Poppy, the “miracle baby” who turns 6 on Friday, born naturally after he says the radiation from treatments finally left his body.
He knows his cancer and the treatment that saved him increases his chances of Alzheimer’s.
So, now, his girls will have a written remembrance of their father’s journey even if he forgets.

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