Last June our annual March for Men walking events saw more than 7,000 people come together to show their support in the fight against prostate cancer. The events grew to cover 10 locations across the UK, raising more than £800,0000!
The public were out in force to show their support for their loved ones and all men facing this devastating disease. Former BBC presenter Bill Turnbull, actress Gemma Oaten and dancer Wayne Sleep were among some of the names joining the lively crowds marching this June.
Many walkers included the names of those they were marching for on their back signs or on our tribute man – a clear sign that for many participants, the cause was close to their hearts. Check out our March for Men photo galleries on Flickr.
We thought we’d share some of the inspiring stories we heard at the events to showcase the many reasons people march with us each June.
Peter, Paul and Simon Morgan, Liverpool March for Men
Peter, Paul and Simon are brothers who have all been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Peter was diagnosed first, after he’d been getting up more in the night to pee. His brothers then got checked after he was diagnosed and were also found to have the disease. All three brothers had surgery and are now doing well.
Paul said “I took part in the Liverpool March for Men because I wanted to give something back to such a worthy cause. Prostate Cancer UK has been such a massive support not only to me, but to my younger brothers, Peter and Simon, who have also been affected by prostate cancer. We were all keen to do something to help stop prostate cancer being a killer.”
Ian Cassels, Glasgow March for Men
Ian was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, just two days before his 61st birthday. Despite having symptoms, he had no idea that they were related to prostate cancer and didn’t even know where the prostate was. He had surgery to remove his prostate and is now a volunteer for us, helping to raise awareness of the disease. Ian said: “The Glasgow March for Men was a very enjoyable day out and I am looking forward to taking part again next year with my family.”
Karen Bonner, London March for Men
Karen Bonner, 48, from Tottenham, lost her dad, Egbert, in 2014, four years after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Karen said “I found dealing with dad’s diagnosis difficult at times, as I struggled between being a daughter and a nurse. For me, as a nurse, I wanted to make sure that my dad was getting the right treatment and care, but as his daughter, I was devastated”. Karen joined the London March for Men to raise awareness of the disease, particularly in the black community, she said “The London March for Men was a great experience and for me, very important,” she says. “The event gave me time to reflect on my dad and his life. I also found comfort in meeting other people who have also been affected by prostate cancer.”
Jackie Dixon, Belfast March for Men
Jackie’s husband, Billy, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and decided to have surgery to remove the prostate, but for the operation, they had to go over to Cambridge as this treatment was unavailable to men in Northern Ireland. After meeting so many men like her husband in the hospital, Jackie decided she wanted to do something to help men and their families affected by the disease and organised her own March for Men event. Jackie’s March for Men event has become so popular that this year we took on Jackie’s march as one of our own flagship March for Men events. Jackie joined us again in 2019 at the Belfast March for Men.
Jackie said: “After Billy’s surgery I felt there was little support for men in Northern Ireland affected by prostate cancer. I also wanted to do something to bring men and their families together and help raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and awareness of this terrible disease.”
Glandel Thompson, Bristol March for Men
Having kept their prostate cancer diagnoses a secret for several years from some of their family members, Glandel’s dad and uncle died of the disease within six months of each other. Then just four months after his dad’s death, Glandel also received a prostate cancer diagnosis. One of Glandel’s brothers was also later affected by the disease.
Glandel walked with us at the Bristol March with his sister Jackie and his brother Michael. Glandel says he “can’t wait for the next one” and would encourage anyone to take part.
Anne Hodgeson, Nicola Robinson and Lisa Hunter, Glasgow March for Men
Sisters Nicola Robinson and Lisa Hunter joined us for the second year at the Glasgow March for Men to walk in memory of their mum’s partner of 28 years, Mitch, who had been diagnosed with the disease in 2014.
Last year, just hours before the sisters were due to start the walk, they got the call that Mitch had sadly died. In two minds whether to attend the event or not, their mum encouraged them to go. This year they were back, this time with their mum to march in Mitch’s memory and for men across the UK.
Lisa said: “The walk gave me a purpose and I felt like it was a way to act upon the devastating news. There was a great atmosphere and I found the walk inspiring, despite the circumstances. The whole experience of the march was very positive and I was so happy that such a good experience came out of something so tragic.”
We look forward to seeing you at a March for Men this Summer. But if you can't wait till then, there's still plenty of ways to get involved, including organising your own March for Men event. We have a dedicated team ready to support you in organising your march, your way. Whether you choose to march up a mountain, get your local community behind you, or walk around your local park, we're with you every step of the way.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at a March for Men in 2019 and showed us that you believe men are worth saving.