UCARE advocates can be anyone affected by urological cancer and are often someone with a urological cancer diagnosis, a partner, or carer, of all ages, gender and background.
Their common ground is that they want to use their experience to see better outcomes for people with urological cancer by becoming part of the UCARE team.
I was first diagnosed in 2004, around about March and I was first in remission on August 26th that year. That lasted until 2007, then 2013 then 2016. There’s been an inevitability to it that means cancer has shaped a design on my life as indelibly as a tattoo. For 13 years, that’s over a quarter of my life, I have lived with Cancer. UCARE was founded by the oncologist that has treated me all this time.
My kidney cancer diagnosis in 2010 was followed by two major operations to remove a kidney and later part of my lung. Thanks to the fantastic team at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, I'm fit and well.
That allows me to support cancer charities including UCARE. My own experience means I'm aware of the importance of early diagnosis, particularly among men with symptoms who are reluctant to admit anything is wrong.
I was 28 when first diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was operated on and assumed all was well until 2 years later when a scan showed the cancer had crept through to a lymph node next to my kidney, which led to a successful treatment via chemotherapy.
This truly life-changing experience tested me and all those close to me; however, it did bring me into contact with the wonderful family that is UCARE and the amazing work it is doing to help people who receive the same news as I did.
It is so important we do what we can to raise awareness and find better ways to treat cancer for those affected in the future.
I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer when I was 40 years old, which led to the removal of my right kidney and a large tumour. Three years later a reoccurrence in my lung saw further surgery.
I understand the physical effects of cancer more than most but also understand the distressing affect it has had on my wife, two teenage sons, wider family, friends and colleagues.
Knowing that UCARE funds cutting edge research gives me, and many other people, enormous hope for the future.
Jean's involvement with UCARE arose from gratitude for her husband's care and also her realisation that low public awareness of urological cancers affects both early diagnosis and the raising of funds for life-saving research. She had no fundraising experience but has found that “doors open unexpectedly”. She would encourage anyone with experience of urological cancers, indirect or direct, to become involved as “though it might not necessarily seem so, we all have something to offer”.
Testicular cancer (TC) crept up and tapped me on the shoulder, well actually it was a fair bit lower down than that, in autumn 2007 at the late age of 56. Five plus years have now passed under the fantastic care and support of the Urology (Jeremy Noble) and Oncology (Andrew Protheroe) teams at Churchill Hospital.
TC is always seen as a 'Young Mans cancer' but it just goes to show guys, you're never too old to stop the regular self-check.
Since diagnoses, in my own small way, I attempt to raise awareness on the subject of TC in schools & colleges Art Department Life Drawing sessions and where possible raise add any donated cash to the UCARE cause. Check your nads lads!
Become a UCARE Advocate
If you are interested to find out how you can help, please do get in touch.
There are lots of ways to be involved:
- Campaign for UCARE
- Joining us at a UCARE event so that guests can chat and share your experiences
- Speak about UCARE at an event
- Attend cheque giving events and say thank you on our behalf
- Writing pieces for our newsletters and web site
- Helping review UCARE material
- Letting us know how we can improve
- Act as an ambassador for the charity
You don't need any special skills, just a willingness to campaign on our behalf. However, if there are any skills you feel that we could benefit from, please do let us know. If you can't attend events, can't travel very far, or do not feel confident speaking, there are still things you could help us with as mentioned above. We will let you know what's coming up and different opportunities where you can help us. We will supply you with information, guidance and support you will need about the charity and any event that you will attend.