Last Sunday (2 June) Lee Quirke and Jonathan Cohen participated in a charity walk on behalf of The Barnet Group’s Men Circle all in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, a charity very important to both of them.

Warning: Please note the following article, contains information referring that may not be suitable for all. There is reference to men’s health in this article that may be triggering and uncomfortable to read.

What is Prostate Cancer and how to check?

For those who are not aware of what prostate cancer is and how to check here is a summary of the key facts and information you need, as provided by Prostate Cancer UK:

  • The prostate is a gland, which sites underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube the carries urine (wee) out of the body. The main function of the prostate is to help make semen.
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • The earlier you find prostate cancer, the easier it is to treat. You can check your risk in 30 seconds so please visit here.
  • Information for trans and non-binary people can be found here.
  • According to the NHS website, there are more than 45,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The conditions mainly affect men over the age of 65, however men over 50 are also at risk. Regardless of your age, do go and get checked. Don’t delay, register today, and get yourself checked out.
  • Research by NHS has shown prostate cancer is more common among Black men than in White men and is least common in Asian men.
  • Women and people assigned female at birth do not have a prostate. Instead, they have what is known as the Skene’s glands which some refer to as the female prostate gland, which is positioned on the other side of the urethra.

If you are in doubt and want more information, please speak to your local GP, or visit the Prostate Cancer UK website which has many fantastic resources to support you or a loved one. Visit their website here.

The day itself was a glorious one, thanks to the sunshine and the atmosphere at the charity event itself.

The March for Men Walk – Sunday 2 June

Over 2,000 people attended the event with 94 organisations including The Barnet Group representing on the day to support the fight against prostate cancer. Close to £300,000 was raised to help save men’s lives. Of this amount Lee & Jonathan helped to raise £918.75 from a week-long campaign promoting the day. Their efforts alone equated to being listed in the top 20 donators for this event which is impressive.

Lee Quirke, Senior PR, Communications and Marketing Executive said “This was never about being the best at fundraising, of course myself and Jonathan wanted to donate a good amount of money, it was more important to us both to help raise awareness, so we are incredibly grateful and overwhelmed by people’s generosity, thank you so much!”.

To put into context where the donation goes:

  • £75 funds 5 hours of specialist work to analyse prostate cancer samples, advancing research on how to stop the disease spreading.
  • £150 allows a researcher to utilise cutting-edge laser technology for half a day, exploring new treatments to support the immune system’s response to prostate cancer.
  • £300 pays for surgery support packs for 25 men, these include incontinence pads, wipes and informative guides for post-surgery expectations.

Walking the Talk

Quite literally Jonathan and Lee did the walk instead of saying “yeah we want to be involved”. Instead, they both grabbed the chance to get involved.

Jonathan Cohen, Group Recruitment Lead spoke of taking part in the charity walk:

“I was delighted to take part in this March for Men as my dad is a long-time prostate cancer survivor. So, I know first-hand what it is like to have a close relative/parent be diagnosed, treated, and thank goodness he survived and can go on to continue leading a full life and become cancer free.”

“It was inspiring to see so many people on the march but also sad to see that so many were marching in memory of loved ones they lost to the disease, this hammered home to me the need to get the message out there that men should not be complacent but rather be proactive and get themselves tested which is quick, painless and very easy to do”.

Both Jonathan and Lee found the experience representing The Barnet Group eye-opening walking alongside others representing their loved ones. Jonathan and Lee chose to not name a specific individual on the day but represent all male survivors. Both described the real heartbreak of seeing how many fathers were noted on some people’s t-shirts.

Congratulations to both Jonathan and Lee on their magnificent efforts raising money for such a a great cause. To everyone who kindly donated thank you so much!