At just 49, David Annand was shocked to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 - a disease he thought at the time only struck much older men. He's worked tirelessly to dispel that myth ever since, and joining Jeff Stelling's Men United March for its final leg into Wembley is just the latest in a long-running commitment to fundraising and awareness talks for Prostate Cancer UK.
In 2011, at the age of 49, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had no obvious symptoms, I just felt a little tired – don’t we all? Luckily for me, my GP gave me a PSA test as part of an overall health check that began the process of eventually being diagnosed.
At the time I knew nothing about prostate cancer. I didn’t even know where my prostate gland was let alone what it actually did. I thought prostate cancer only affected much older men and I had no idea that over 40,000 men in the UK were being diagnosed every year, with over 10,000 dying from the disease.
I underwent brachytherapy and today, four-and-a-half years after treatment, my PSA is 0.2. If it remains at 0.4 or below for the next six months, then there is less than a 1% chance that the cancer will reoccur. I consider myself very lucky that my prostate cancer was identified as early as it was because early treatment can result in a positive outcome.
As soon as I was able, I wanted to give something back to the charity that had helped me
As soon as I was able, I wanted to give something back to the charity that had helped me and so I embarked on a personal awareness campaign in 2012, spending a year walking around sporting stadiums in the lead-up to the start of the football season. This coincided with Prostate Cancer UK’s official partnership with the Football League, which I helped to launch with ex-footballer Luther Blissett. In all, I covered 500 miles, raising over £18,000 in front of more than 500,000 spectators.
Afterwards, I was invited to become an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK, using my job as a marketing and PR manager to help make numerous media connections for the charity. I’ve also trained to be a volunteer speaker for them, which I’ve found hugely rewarding, and you’ll often find me bucket collecting for Prostate Cancer UK at Football League grounds, including Wembley.
I’ll be representing Gillingham FC when I join Jeff Stelling on the last leg of his Men United March to Wembley. It’s the club I support and I’ve managed to raise over £3,500 towards Jeff’s target so far. After completing the walk, I’ll be back at Wembley for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at the weekend with 24 other volunteers, helping to raise further awareness and funds to help save lives and combat this dreadful disease!
Donate to David and help him, Jeff and us to smash our £300k target.