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Families walk in the name of men’s health

Over 800 people recently flocked to take part in the first ever March for Men fundraising event in Liverpool. Taking place at Croxteth Hall and Country Park the event raised vital funds to help beat prostate cancer – a disease which kills one man every 45 minutes.

Supporters young and old took part from across the area walking a choice of distances around a circular route, many with a personal connection to the disease.

Elaine Small, from Southport participated with 28 family members including her husband, Pat (66) and his brother, Michael (61) – who both have prostate cancer, and were treated in the same hospital at the same time over a period of 7 weeks.

“I marched for all men because my husband and his brother have prostate cancer, and their father died from the disease. I also have three sons, two nephews and one grandson who are all at higher risk of developing the disease – so helping Prostate Cancer UK fund research into a better diagnostic test and screening programme, just like for breast cancer, is incredibly important to me and my boys’ futures.”

The Small family completed the 5k or 10k routes and raised more than £4,000 between them. Elaine and Pat’s 16-week-old granddaughter was the youngest member of the clan to cross the line and receive a medal.

Elaine continued: “To take part in the Liverpool March for Men was wonderful – it was a glorious day, and there was something very special about walking as a family for the same positive cause. The camaraderie and community spirit along the route, and in the event village, was heart-warming.”

The event formed part of Prostate Cancer UK’s wider walking programme, March for Men, which includes six other local walks across the UK this June.

As participants crossed the finish line they were awarded with medals and greeted by cheers, before they could relax in the sun with their loved ones, or have a mooch around the event village. And it wasn’t only people who took part in the March – over 100 dogs participated, all sporting branded neckerchiefs.

On hand was a specialist nurse who answered questions from participants about the disease and where their fundraising efforts are spent.

Over 744 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Liverpool each year, with 195 men dying from the disease, and over 5,585 living with and beyond prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer UK’s chief executive, Angela Culhane said: “We are delighted with the success of our March for Men event in Liverpool. The number of people who united showing passion and dedication to supporting Prostate Cancer UK was phenomenal. One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, and we now know this disease is the third biggest cancer killer. That’s unacceptable.

“However, through events such as this, we hope to raise further awareness and funds so that more men’s lives can be saved and we can make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation need not fear. We thank everyone of all ages who took part (not forgetting the four-legged participants!) and all those who donated to support them.”

Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One man will die from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. That’s over 11,800 men a year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.

For more information about Prostate Cancer UK’s March for Men programme, visit marchformen.org

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