Legendary Star Wars actor, Dave Prowse and Magic FM DJ, Neil
Fox, have teamed up with The Prostate Cancer Charity and Marks
& Spencer to battle the 'dark side' of the most common cancer
in men for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Prowse and Fox have come together to share their experience of
the disease and to support the cause, by appearing in a striking
set of adverts which will be on display in over 300 M&S stores
across the country in an attempt to raise awareness of the
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month aims to bring this disease -
which kills one man every hour in the UK - further out into the
open. Under the banner of 'out of the blue' the Charity is
encouraging people to be aware of the disease, which when diagnosed
can hit men like a bolt from the blue.
Speaking of his involvement, Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader
in the original Star Wars Films, explains: "We mortals can be
extremely optimistic, believing that bad things, such as cancer,
just aren't going to happen to us. I was the same - even though my
brother had had prostate cancer, I just didn't realise I was at
risk too. I thought it just wouldn't happen to me.
"When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer it really hit me out
of the blue. Luckily for me my cancer was caught early so that this
year I can lead the charge against the 'dark side' of prostate
cancer. I hope my face in Marks & Spencer stores will help to
get more men thinking about their health.
"Don't let prostate cancer catch you unawares - find out what to
look for and keep ahead of the game - and remember, the force will
be with you every step of the way!"
TV and Radio star Neil Fox has experienced firsthand the
devastating effect prostate cancer can have when he lost his father
ten years ago. He explains: "Prostate cancer hit my family out of
the blue when my Dad was diagnosed. Although he had known something
was wrong for a while, nothing could have prepared us for the news
that he had cancer. I can't help thinking if he'd known more about
the disease he might still be here today.
"It is so important that all men are aware of the risks so
others don't find themselves in the same situation. I hope that
many people will join the charge and visit their local M&S
store to show their support for the 10,000 men like my dear Dad who
die from this disease every year."
As well as helping the Charity to raise awareness of the
disease, through the nationwide campaign which also features a
selection of real life people affected by the disease. M&S are
helping to raise funds throughout March will be donating 10 per
cent of the retail selling value of a specially selected range of
M&S' Blue Harbour shirts* between 1-21 March.
Pin badges and bottle openers will also be available in store
throughout the month.
Speaking of the campaign Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at The
Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "Our partnership with M&S is
priceless. It extends our presence into communities, giving us a
platform to reach people on the High Street we could not hope to
achieve without them. As well as raising funds, we know from the
many calls to our Helpline signposted by literature in M&S, how
important it is to enabling us to reach men and their families.
"I would like to thank M&S for their continued support - as
well as to Dave and Neil for taking part in this campaign. I hope
that men, and women who often tend to choose their wardrobe, head
to their local store and show their support for the 250,000 men
living with this disease."
For the first time, supporters can also text "BLUE" to 70007 to
donate £3 and receive an information pack on the campaign from the
Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A, CSR and Sustainable
Business at M&S, said: "Many men don't like thinking about
their health and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is key to changing
this mindset. We encourage our customers to get involved this month
and help make a contribution to saving the men in their lives."
There are numerous ways for people to show their support, from
staging an information day, taking part in a Day of Action or
holding a personal 10,000 challenge in support of the 10,000 men
who die from prostate cancer a year.
*Blue Harbour polo shirts and rugby jerseys are excluded.
**(Texts are charged at £3 plus one standard network rate