For those who don’t know, Rosie Colfer is the Managing Director of Ballboys. She plays a huge part in raising awareness of testicular cancer and she is leading Ballboys in their mission of getting men and women talking about it without embarrassment.
From a personal perspective – since I first contacted Rosie during my recovery, she has been extremely helpful and supportive in the ongoing planning of my world record attempt.
To help bring Ballboys and their cause to the forefront of what I am doing, I asked Rosie some questions about Ballboys and why it is so important for people to get behind us as we work hard to prevent testicular cancer impacting more lives.
Here is what she had to say:
What is the aim of Ballboys?
Our aim is to raise awareness of testicular cancer among both men and women; to educate them on the risks, the signs and symptoms, how to check themselves (or their partners), and what to do if worried.
We also want future generations to be more informed about testicular cancer and less embarrassed to talk about their health which is why we also work closely with school aged boys to educate them in hope that eventually we will change people’s attitudes.
Why is raising awareness of testicular cancer so important?
Firstly, raising awareness is important because we know many men are uncomfortable talking about their health, so the more we talk about testicles, the more we hope it will become less taboo and others will too.
We also also know that most men don’t know their risk of testicular cancer which is very scary (and unnecessary).
Secondly, testicular cancer is one the easiest cancers to treat successfully – IF caught early. So checking yourself and speaking to a doctor immediately if you find anything unusual is key and can save your life. If you’re checking regularly you have more chance of finding something early on.
However, I haven’t met many men who say they check themselves, so there is still a lot of work to be done and awareness to raise!
What are some of the ways Ballboys raise awareness?
We work with groups of young people to educate them about testicular cancer, for example in sports clubs, schools, universities. We also work with corporate partners to educate their employees so that we are covering all age ranges who are most at risk. We regularly develop campaigns targeting young men and also hold events across the U.K. and abroad.
We have a number of ambassadors who help us to get our message out there which really helps a lot.
What statistic surprises you most relating to testicular cancer?
The most shocking statistic to me is how young some boys have been diagnosed. The age range of men at most risk is between 15-49, but I’m fairly sure not many 15 year olds (or younger) have been informed about their risk.
How can people help Ballboys in their mission?
Very simply – by telling at least one man that they know (friends, colleagues, loved ones) to check themselves at least once a month. You can signpost them to Ballboys if they want further information.
By helping us to raise funds whether taking on a challenge or holding an event so that we can reach more men with our message and be able to develop new campaigns and literature to reach people everywhere.
If you could give one piece of advice to men everywhere – what would it be?
It’s your body. Get to know it. Get hands on with it.
Its as simple as washing yourself in the shower or brushing your teeth – but you don’t even have to do it daily! Just once a month is recommended. It will give you peace of mind and it will certainly increase your chance of catching anything suspicious early, which is key to successfully treating testicular cancer.
Thank you to Rosie for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. For more information on Ballboys or to get more involved, head over to www.ballboys.org.uk and help us raise awareness of testicular cancer.