A UK male breast cancer survivor will begin a 130 mile walk across Ireland tomorrow (Thursday ) to raise funds for a British breast cancer prevention charity.
David McNamara, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, will leave Dublin on St Patrick’s Day. He will be joined by his wife, Rosie, on a journey that will take them from Dublin to Galway Bay.
The 62-year-old hopes his epic cross country challenge, entitled “Walk Across Ireland”, will raise significant funds for the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal.
“Prevention is the key to beating this disease,” he says. “By taking part in this challenge Rosie and I aim to raise awareness and funds that will go towards building a future without breast cancer.”
The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal is the only UK charity dedicated entirely to the prevention of breast cancer. Currently, one in 1,000 men and one in 10 women in the UK will develop breast cancer. It’s the most common form of cancer in the country with more than 46,000 cases diagnosed each year.
“This charity is very close to my heart as hereditary breast cancer affects every member of the family,” he says. “Not only have I struggled with this disease myself, my mother lost her battle with breast cancer at just 43. I also have three daughters so I’m proud to be supporting the UK’s only charity entirely dedicated to the prevention of the disease.”
The charity has pledged to raise one million pounds to help fight breast cancer through its “Million Mile Challenge”. The initiative encourages people across the country to get fit and healthy while raising money to prevent breast cancer. Every pound raised by fundraisers will equate to one Genesis mile. The charity’s aim is to reach one million Genesis miles to go towards funding its vital research into the prediction and prevention of breast cancer.
Mr Lester Barr, breast cancer surgeon and chairman of The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal, says its key message is that being active and healthy can reduce your risk and prevent breast cancer.
“We’ve launched the Million Mile Challenge to do that on a larger scale than ever before. We hope that people from all over the country will take up the challenge to get fit and help raise awareness of the prevention of breast cancer.
“Anyone at any level of fitness can take part in the Million Mile Challenge. Whether you’re running the London Marathon or taking part in a local egg and spoon race, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re getting active.”
Supporters from all over the country can take part in the challenge through various activities. From walking to swimming, ironing to tight-rope walking - any activity that gets people active and raises money for Genesis will be added towards the million mile goal.
The Genesis Appeal has helped to fund the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre, Europe’s first purpose built centre of its kind. The £14 million state-of-the-art project - based at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester - brings together internationally recognised medical experts and houses pioneering work into diagnosis, education and research into the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.