Our new March for Men events over the Father's Day weekend will bring hundreds of families together in London, Leeds and Glasgow to walk in support of those affected by prostate cancer. We speak to some of them about the dads they'll be walking alongside or in memory of, and their hopes that the money and awareness raised can help defeat the most common cancer in men.

18 May 2017

Gemma Oaten: "My heart breaks for any family getting the news"

Gemma’s dad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer six years ago.

"When the call came from my mum and dad to say that he had prostate cancer, it felt like the whole world was ending.

"The prostate cancer bit I could kind of compute. But it was when they said it was stage-three aggressive, that was when it really hit me. Because that’s the moment you have to ask your parents, 'is my dad going to die?'

"Even though it was six years ago, it still feels like yesterday. My heart breaks for any family getting that news, whatever form of cancer it is. I know lots of families aren’t so lucky.

"I’d like everyone in Leeds to come march together with us on Sunday 18 June and support their loved ones, who might be going through it, and also equally to support their loved ones they might have lost."

Paula Holland with her mum and dog

Paula Holland: "Dad would be really proud of me"

Paula's dad didn't want to worry her by telling her he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"I didn’t find out about dad’s prostate cancer until about a year or so after he was diagnosed, as he didn’t want to worry me and my brother.

"In March 2013, dad took himself to hospital for a week as there was something wrong with his potassium levels. When I went to visit him, he told me about his prostate cancer. At that point I thought dad was on the road to recovery.

"Then in June, I went away on holiday. While I was away, dad was experiencing problems with his colostomy bag and had to go to hospital again – but he didn’t tell me that he was there. Just a few days after a consultant said that the cancer had progressed and he only had a few months left, dad passed away.

"Dad would be really proud of me for taking part in the Leeds March for Men – it would be something he would have done. He’ll be up there looking down when we march on Father’s Day."

Marlene Graham and family

Marlene Graham: "His death bought us closer as a family"

Marlene lost her father just ten weeks after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"My dad was a very strong, fit and healthy man. Until his diagnosis, we hadn’t noticed any symptoms.

"His death definitely bought us closer as a family and we really had to rally together. My mother found it especially hard, as it was all so quick. She was in denial for the majority of the time. It didn’t seem possible that there wasn’t anything anyone could do, that it was too late.

"That's why we’re marching this Father’s day in Glasgow: to raise awareness so no more men are lost to this disease."

William Kilgannon

William Kilgannon: "My dad always kept strong and kept battling"

William's father died from advanced prostate cancer in 2015, when he was 12.

"When I found out about dad, it was quite sad and I asked: 'would he be in a wheel chair?' and 'would he die?'.

"My dad always kept strong and kept quietly battling on. I think we all dug in and did our best for dad and we all comforted him during the disease. It was hard when dad was going for treatment and it was a long process that took a toll on us as a family. We had to adjust and make changes.

"When Dad was really ill, he was at home 24/7. It was a struggle and hard but we knew we had to spend the most amount of time with him and give him a good quality of life, because that’s what he wanted and that’s what we wanted.

"I’m taking part in the London March for Men to raise awareness of this disease and to try to help other men, who could potentially get prostate cancer, get through it and be cured."

Nichola McGuire and family

Nichola McGuire: "I’m putting the word out there to help others"

Nichola lost her dad to prostate cancer in 2015.

"In the last six months, dad was in so much pain. I’ve never seen anyone hurt so much – it was agonising. This was someone who never complained, who worked as a courier with arthritis in his wrists. So to see him admitting he was in pain... I couldn’t imagine what it was like.

"My son is very aware of what happened to his grandfather. He plays basketball and every time he scores, he says it is for his grandfather. The statistics for men, but especially black men, are shocking. I just think of my father, my brother, my nephew and my son – one in four of them has had it.

"I’m taking part in the London March for Men to encourage as many people as possible to take notice of this disease. We need to understand that prostate cancer isn’t just something old men get and die of. It can be treated, if caught in time and people are aware. I often wonder when dad would have gone if he had been more aware of his risk.

"I’m marching for men as part of dad’s legacy. To let him know I’m putting the word out there and helping others who might not know their risk."

Whether you’re walking in memory of your dad or alongside him, we’d love you to join us this Father’s Day weekend at one of our March for Men events to help stop more families being affected by this terrible disease.

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