25 March 2014

These Mo Bros and this Mo Sista know that awareness is key. Here are their stories.

Movember Stories

Ben Lidgey knows that early detection can lead to swift diagnosis and successful treatment. The conversations he had during Movember were key to catching his life-threatening disease in time and his continued recovery.

“In Movember 2011, I felt a lump in my testicle, which, through a whirlwind of scans and consultations, ended with me having surgery for testicular cancer in December 2011. Thankfully I am (so far) on the path to being all clear.”

"Being diagnosed with cancer, and going through the surgery and follow-ups has been a scary and life-changing experience. Talking about it with friends and family has really helped me to come to terms with it, and changed it from being a negative experience to a positive one where I can help others. Movember has been a big part of raising my awareness and helping me to raise awareness for others, hopefully helping them to detect issues while they can be sorted."

Movember can have an immediate and tangible impact by simply getting people talking. Ben’s story shows just how valuable these simple conversations can be.

Gail joined as a Mo Sista in 2013 and used Movember to tell as many people as possible to think about their health and take action if anything feels abnormal – no matter how tough you may seem.

Gail’s first husband Steve was in the Armed Forces. “They’re super fit, so think they’re pretty invincible”, she said. One day, he found a lump and wondered if it could be cancer. Their first reaction was, “It can’t be cancer, as that’s for older people”. But they got it checked and unfortunately he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. Sadly, Steve passed away three years later, after it spread to the rest of his body.

She’s very aware that many people don’t have the support services the RAF and the other Armed Forces can offer, and believes one of the great advantages of Movember is that it can start important conversations about getting help to people who may not know they need it.

Gail has since remarried and her husband Simon is now also growing to spread the word.

Jim Thompson was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 57. With his mates and landlords at this local pub, Jim started team ‘Geordie Jim’s Boys’, and raising money and support for Movember. In 2012, his condition worsened. He underwent a prostatectomy, but unfortunately the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. Upon hearing this news, Jim decided he didn’t want anyone else to go through what he had, and made a resolution to do everything he could to raise the profile of men’s health and get rid of the taboo of talking about cancer. One of Jim’s teammates was also diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 40, but caught it in time.

In 2013, Jim and his fellow Mo Bros took a bold step and made a naked calendar for Movember, going above and beyond to raise awareness for men’s health and the Movember campaign, as well as a few eyebrows along the way.

Jim’s dedication for flying the flag for men’s health is truly admirable, as are the lengths that he has gone to in spreading awareness and making men mindful of their own health, to catch any potentially life-changing diseases in time.

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