Fergus sat in a barber chair facing camera
Mo Bro Ambassador Fergus Woods at Sugar Daddy barbersImage by: Amy O'Sullivan
Fergus sat in a barber chair facing camera
6 April 2023

Fergus’ story: Why I'm proud to be a Movember ambassador

Fergus Woods
Fergus Woods
4 minutes read time

My name is Fergus Woods, I am twenty-one, studying for a bachelor's degree in physiology and live in Cabinteely, Dublin.

When I was a young teenager, I was a little envious of the older kids. They seemed like they had their life together, knew what was happening and had nothing to worry about. I have strong memories of always wishing I could grow up quicker so my problems could disappear. Always looking in the mirror at faint hairs on my face, wondering what I could do to make them grow faster, urging them in silent frustration. Then I would be a man. Right? Like many others, I struggled a lot growing up with mental health and I often wrestled with my own ideas of self-image. It took a while for me to realise that what it is to be a man is not defined by how we look, but by our actions and interactions with others. That’s what initially encouraged me to support Movember.

I started my Movember fundraising during 2020, to raise awareness for men’s health, although I wasn’t exactly sure how to do it. I originally participated with my college trampoline club, which I had joined on a whim, but soon turned out to be the place I would find my lifelong friends. Going into my final year of my undergraduate degree in physiology, I knew I wanted to do a big Movember effort. I had seen first-hand the importance of men’s health. As well as this, many of my friends in my college course were doing cancer research, so I saw how impactful fundraising could be. This encouraged me to want to become a Movember student ambassador.

During my ambassador training I was amazed at the vast resources available for those affected by any of the Movember cause areas. Moreover, I was extremely moved by the stories I heard and the passion of everyone involved. One part that stuck out to me was Movember’s training on how to check for testicular cancer, which I had previously never even thought of. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it hung around in the back of my mind.

It wasn’t until I was at home later that night when it came to my mind again. I figured there was no way anything was up, but I might as well check. That’s when I discovered a lump on one of my testicles. Suddenly everything in my head was a lot more serious and real. I can’t be thankful enough for the training I had received not hours earlier, that made me aware of the amazing resources I then was able to access, like the Nuts And Bolts website. From having this resource available and the learnings I gained from it, I felt a wave of calm wash over me. Within the next few days, I arranged to see my GP. The awkward tension I had built up in my head was quickly forgotten as soon as I started to talk with them about it. Within a couple of minutes, I was checked. I was extremely fortunate to find out that it was not cancer, but an epididymal cyst, which was nothing to worry about. To this day I am grateful for the Movember resources for ensuring that I was able to keep a cool head.

" I can’t be thankful enough for the training I had received not hours earlier, that made me aware of the amazing resources I then was able to access, like the Nuts And Bolts website. "

This experience drove me more than ever to make sure the men around me and those who I met were aware about their health. Continuing to fundraise as a student ambassador for Movember was amazing and feeling the support of my friends and family throughout my journey was incredible. It encouraged me to run over 100 kilometres and I hope to do more in the future. I hoped my actions had made a difference and the unyielding care and encouragement I received showed me that and what it truly meant to be a man.

The positive impact that Movember has had and will continue to have on my life is something I will treasure and cultivate. I would urge anyone who can, to do anything you can, not just in November, but today. If nothing else, I would seriously advise that you continue to educate yourself on your physical and mental well-being, if not for yourself, to help others. Be a friend, make a friend.

Have you checked your pair? Use our Check your pair guide now.

If you, or someone you know is facing a testicular cancer diagnosis, check out Nuts and Bolts, which has the tools you need to confidently handle the testicular cancer journey; from diagnosis, to treatment, to life afterwards — we’ve got your back