"They say a picture paints a thousand words. This photograph captures the fear, anxiety, stress, worry and relief from a battle with prostate cancer, and making it through the other side to walk your daughter up the aisle." The beautiful photo that Debra Telford is writing about is from a moving Facebook post, explaining why her wedding day was especially emotional and why she and her family will be Marching for Men again this summer.
Debra: I would appreciate if you would take the time to read this, share for your friends to read, your friends friends, the man on the moon, whoever.
Above is a photograph of my Dad taken on the morning of my wedding. He hadn’t seen me in my dress yet when this was taken. He was just shuffling around in the background trying to make himself busy while me and my bridal party were all getting ready.
I think I can say in truth and without bias, our wedding was incredibly emotional, for everyone. My dad cried from the morning, the whole way through the day, and for a further few days afterwards.
My Dad was the first person to come into my old bedroom that morning. He lay beside me, we had a giggle that I had been awake from 4am with excitement, we didn’t say much more, we didn’t need to.
People kept commenting on how emotional he was. Then came the speech.
As the day unfolded, people kept commenting on how emotional he was. Then came the speech: “I’ve been spat at, bricked, petrol bombed, and stoned. But none of that was as hard as giving away my daughter today.”
They say a picture paints a thousand words. This photograph isn’t just emotion running high because of a wedding. This photograph captures the fear, anxiety, stress, worry, and relief from a battle with prostate cancer, and making it through the other side to walk your daughter up the aisle.
I hope no one mistakes this post as a brag. I am so fortunate to have had my family there to celebrate my marriage to my best friend, but others aren’t so fortunate.
People say: "Oh prostate cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat, don’t worry."
Does that make it easier? Does that give you comfort to sleep at night? Does that relieve the stress on your mind and your body? Does that relieve the burden of travelling from Northern Ireland to Cambridge for surgery? Or the demoralisation of flying home shortly after surgery with a catheter in and in pain?
The answer is no. No it doesn’t.
Please invest in your parents, brothers, uncles, grandfathers
Sometimes we are so busy growing up that we forget our parents are growing old. We need to invest in their future, however that may be. From my own personal experience, a good place to start is raising awareness of prostate cancer and bringing this surgery to Northern Ireland.
We are indeed lucky to have this surgery available on the NHS, but we need to bring it here to Northern Ireland. It’s costing money to send patients to the mainland. It’s arguably resulting in a delay for men from Northern Ireland to access treatment. It’s stressful being away from home. And it is demoralising and physically painful to fly home after this surgery.
Last year my family, with the help of others, hosted Northern Ireland’s first ever March for Men walk at Stormont Estate in aid of raising awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer UK. We raised £6,400. Please March with us and let us be heard by Stormont.
If you live near us, we hope you can spare a couple of hours on Father’s Day, 17 June to join us again this year. If not, please find your local March for Men there are Marches all over the UK – please find your local one and sign up now or do what we did and organise your own.
And please invest in your parents, brothers, uncles, grandfathers.
Thanks for reading 💙