Balls To Cancer

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Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on Twitter.

This week, we are focusing on male cancer charity Balls To Cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK males, accounting for around a quarter (26%) of male cases (2013). The next most common cancers in UK males are lung cancer (14%) and bowel cancer (13%). Prostate, lung and bowel cancers together account for over half (53%) of all new cases in males in the UK. Bladder and oesophageal cancers, and leukaemia, are among the UK ten most common cancers in males, but not in females.

We caught up with Mark Bates, co-founder of Balls To Cancer, to find out more about their wonderful charity.

Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are based in Wolverhampton but we support people nationwide.

How do you support people?
We support people with information, financially and most importantly online, in person or via telephone.

How did the charity come to be founded?
My Father Geoff Bates died many years ago from a brain tumour and had no real support or a place specifically for me to be able to get information or help, Susan’s Grandfather Peter Knight died some years later from Throat cancer and she had the same experience. So we decided we would start the charity so men no longer would have no support and nowhere to go.

How many people do you have working at the charity?
There are five of us with many more volunteers who help us out nationwide and at our events.

How can people support you?
We need help to tell more people we are here to help and we also need funds to help us help more people.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Male cancer is something people and the media would rather sweep under the carpet as they did with Breast cancer 20 years ago. We will succeed in getting male cancer right up there with female cancers.

Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
We have various events this year but the best to get involved with is the sponsored abseil event at Dudley Castle on the 25th September, followed by the Peaky Blinder themed 5th Anniversary party at Dudley Zoo later that day and our fabulous black tie Christmas ball on the 25th November. All our events are on our website www.ballstocancer.com

Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
Don’t ever give up.

You can find out more about Balls To Cancer at their website or via Facebook or Twitter.