In the first of our regular series looking at the many people joining Jeff Stelling’s Men United March, we meet Danny and Tracy from Middlesbrough.
If you’ve been keeping up with Jeff Stelling’s preparation for his Men United March by watching him on Soccer Saturday then you’ll have noticed another man making a regular appearance on the show. Jeff and his colleagues have been proudly sporting the Man of Men badge, the little guy who makes up our logo, otherwise known as the Men United badge.
This badge means so much to many people but, for one family, it has become a part of how they’re fighting prostate cancer.
Danny Bolton was 64 when he saw one of our adverts on TV. He was having a routine blood test the following week so he decided to ask the practice nurse to do a PSA test at the same time. He was later diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
When his wife Tracy Fletcher asked people she knew about prostate cancer, she was surprised at how little awareness there was. “It was like in the 60s with breast cancer and ovarian cancer”, she said. So they decided to do all they could to make sure other people knew about the most common cancer in men.
Tracy’s son Paul had recently taken part in the Sheffield Half Marathon and the Great North Run but after their family and friends had all very kindly sponsored him as much as they could they realised they would need to find other ways to raise funds if they were going to make the impact they wanted.
That’s when they thought about the badges.
In October 2015, they set about selling the Men United pin badges to donate the proceeds back to Prostate Cancer UK via Paul's JustGiving page and since then Danny and Tracy have made it their mission to sell as many as possible. So far, they’ve sold over 5,000 and can sometimes shift up to 500 in a week. They make a point of giving people our information leaflets and directing them to speak to our Specialist Nurses if they have any questions about prostate cancer.
They are tireless in their efforts to spread the word, fitting it around Danny’s treatment when they can. In the week Tracy attends events like veteran 5-a-side football matches to raise money and to hand out our literature. She’s spoken to over 100 men at these events and four so far have been diagnosed after going to the doctors.
The pair are looking forward to meeting Jeff at Middlesbrough on the first day of the march. Tracy, in particular, has a few things to say to him. “I want to tell Jeff a million things. He’s changing what people think and know about prostate cancer. If you think about the percentage of men staring at Jeff and his panel every Saturday, and sometimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, looking at the badge and asking what it stands for and researching it. He’s saving lives. And he’s changed our lives.”
You can help Danny and Tracy’s fundraising by donating to Paul’s JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/paul-simpson33/