Over 7,000 walkers, including Kerry McDowell from Cheshire, went the extra mile and completed Prostate Cancer UK’s fourth walking challenge, March the Month, helping to raise over £1.7m.
The hugely popular event was also met with Royal approval, as the charity’s patron the Duchess of Gloucester, put her best foot forward every day in March – and chatted to Kerry about her personal quest.
Kerry, 60, decided to take part in the challenge because she sadly lost her dad to prostate cancer in January this year. She has been taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s March the Month challenge since 2019 to help raise awareness of the disease and is determined to help stop other people going through what she and her family are facing.
Kerry said: “My family and I were absolutely devastated when we lost dad to prostate cancer. He was such a lovely, positive man, who always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone. We all miss him so much and can't believe he's no longer with us.
“I am not the strongest walker, but my determination to help raise awareness of the disease and vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK kept me motivated. So far I have raised nearly £3,000.
“I don't want anyone to face what my family and I are going through and hope that all of our efforts have made a difference to help stop prostate cancer being a killer.”
Inspired by people like Kerry, Prostate Cancer UK’s royal patron also walked 11,000 steps every day in honour of the 11,000 men who die from prostate cancer every year in the UK, to help raise vital awareness of the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.
To crown a successful month, the Duchess joined an intimate video chat which was shared across social media to more than 4.4m people, with Kerry as well as the Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, Angela Culhane. The trio were also joined by fellow marcher, Peter Silk, who decided to take part in March the Month after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost a year ago.
The Duchess was visibly moved by the duo’s stories and recounted her own exploits with her walking partner, her husband the Duke of Gloucester, in the local paddock in the morning and then the park in the afternoon.
The Duchess of Gloucester said: “I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Kerry, Peter and Angela and sharing our experiences of March the Month. They were all such a delight and incredibly inspirational and their stories really helped to drive home the importance of events such as March the Month and why raising awareness of prostate cancer is so essential.”
Angela Culhane, who also took on the challenge, added: “We’re incredibly grateful that Kerry joined our team of remarkable walkers for March the Month 2021.
“Participants, like Kerry, have well and truly shown how families, friends and communities can work together, locally and across the UK and beyond to help save lives – especially during a difficult period.
“We also want to thank The Duchess of Gloucester for speaking to our March the Month participants and for getting involved in the challenge to help raise vital awareness of the disease.
“Hard times show what people stand for. When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer. We thank everyone for all their incredible efforts and hope they can all enjoy a well-earned rest!”
To view the March the Month video, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUTo1ayeQr4
About Prostate Cancer UK
- Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop prostate cancer damaging the lives of men and their families.
- Investing into finding better treatments and tests that could save thousands of lives.
- Working with the NHS to make sure men get access to breakthrough tests and treatments.
- Spreading the word about who is at risk of prostate cancer, especially to those at higher risk.
- Supporting people dealing with prostate cancer and providing health information.
- Visit prostatecanceruk.org now to help beat this disease.
- @ProstateUK #MenWeAreWithYou
About prostate cancer
- More than 11,500 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year – that's one man every 45 minutes
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men – and now the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers in the UK.
- A 30-second online risk checker is available at prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker
- Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and the risk increases with age. But the risk is higher for black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer, so they may wish to speak to their GP from age 45.
- One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. This raises to one in four for black men.
- Prostate cancer often has no symptoms so men shouldn’t wait to see changes before they act.
- Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 6pm on Wednesdays.