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Dad’s prostate cancer drives friendship duo to raise £2,000 for men’s cancer charity Movember


After Gerard's dad got the all clear with his prostate cancer, Gerard wants to raise awareness for others to get checked (photo: Gerard Ellis)
After Gerard’s dad got the all clear with his prostate cancer, Gerard wants to raise awareness for others to get checked (photo: Gerard Ellis)

Gerard Ellis and university friend Sean Marsden, both aged 23, will run a marathon around Leeds, complete the Yorkshire three peaks and cycle on an indoor bike for 24 hours all in November.

The pair are just over £200 away from their £2,000 target as Gerard completes his second annual Movember challenge after dad’s prostate cancer diagnosis.

Gerard, of Alwoodley in Leeds, said: “Fortunately my dad was able to battle through having prostate cancer without too many issues and has now had the all clear but sadly we all know that for a lot of men this is not the case.

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Gerard Ellis and Sean Marsden will complete a vigorous fitness challenge for men’s health charity Movember

“That’s why for me this is predominantly about raising awareness as I don’t think people my age know about the checks and tests they should have for prostate cancer as they get older.

“I didn’t realise until it came so close to home.”

Last year Gerard completed a 2030km cycle throughout November for Movember, but after facing the difficulties of this challenge alone he wanted to place more emphasis this year on mental health and so recruited his friend.

Gerard said: “I’ve never been great with talking to people and I have always felt like telling people if I feel low at all would ruin my happy and cheery persona.

“We need to encourage the normalisation of feeling low sometimes and making people realise it’s nothing about them as a person but instead part of day-to-day life.

“I’ve had a lot of messages of encouragement about my challenge and people reaching out to check training is going okay and all it takes is just a simple ‘are you ok?’ sometimes.

“The challenge for me is also about showing people that they can get through difficult times, and although it might be us doing the challenge, it’s everyone else that can help try to make an impact.”

Sean is a management consultant and the pair have been friends since meeting at university.

They have been training separately but will take on their first challenge of a Marathon around the Alwoodley area of Leeds and finishing with three laps of Roundhay Park Lake on Sunday November 1.

Sean said: “We’ve tried to give ourselves some pretty big challenges and I’m excited to push through them but I do know they are going to be difficult.

“Movember as a cause is incredible and they look at some massive problems which we want to raise money and awareness for.”

The friends will climb the Yorkshire three peaks on November 14 and complete their 24 hour cycle over the weekend of November the 28 and 29, giving themselves just two weeks in between each challenge for training.

They will also both grow a moustache throughout the month which is what the Movember charity began as being known for.

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health and focus primarily on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Movember aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25 per cent by the year 2030 by raising awareness of and encouraging people to get checked and speak out.

Gerard and Sean’s Movember page can be found here.


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