News release – for immediate use
UCAN FUNDRAISERS TO APPEAR ON EMBARRASSING BODIES
Charity fundraisers who posed naked for a calendar to raise money for local urological cancer charity, UCAN, are to appear on the popular Channel 4 programme, 'Embarrassing Bodies', to help raise awareness of testicular cancer.
The group of lads, who all play for Fraserburgh Football Club, were inspired to pose for the calendar after one of their teammates, Russell McBride, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to undergo an operation and chemotherapy.
The footballers are now preparing for their five minutes of fame on a live edition of Embarrassing Bodies to screen on Tuesday, May 22.
They will be hooked up to a live feed where they will speak to the show's doctors, Dr Christian Jessen, Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Pixie McKenna, about the importance of self-checking and the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.
Sales of the footballers' naked calendar, which features them in a variety of poses using just strategically-placed footballs and goalposts to preserve their modesty, reached almost £2,000 which was donated to UCAN.
The charity was set up to raise awareness of testicular, prostate, bladder and kidney cancer and support patients and their families and is currently spear-heading a campaign to raise £2.5million to purchase Scotland's first robotically-assisted surgical system for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI), which would initially be used for urological, gynaecological and bowel operations.
Russell, who lives in the Broch, discovered a lump in 2010 and was quickly diagnosed with cancer. He underwent an operation and chemotherapy. Now fully recovered and back at work and back on the pitch, the dad-of-two is looking forward to his moment on the small screen and being able to help raise awareness of the cancer which he overcame.
He said: "I was reading John Hartson's autobiography at the time and that was what made me go and see about my lump. When you consider what he went through with his cancer treatment, mine was really nothing.
"He didn't do anything at first and his cancer spread and got worse. The same thing happened with an uncle of mine who died because he was too embarrassed to go and get himself checked out.
"If I could say anything to anyone who is in that position it would be - 'don't be afraid to get help'. It took only a few weeks between my diagnosis and it all being over and done with. I'm back at work, back playing football and all my check-ups are looking good."
UCAN's fundraising manager Fiona JD Pearson said:
"It's great that Russell and the boys at Fraserburgh Football Club are brave enough to bare all on national television in a bid to raise awareness of testicular cancer. Hopefully their courage will inspire other men who are wary of getting things checked to make a potentially life-saving appointment at the doctor.
"Our current fundraising challenge is to raise enough money to bring the very latest robotically-assisted surgical equipment to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, plus two new integrated theatres to house the system.
"Every generous donation takes us a step closer to reaching our target of £2.5million by the end of 2013 to purchase this equipment which has the potential to benefit everyone in the North of Scotland who requires a specialised operation."
Considered to be the future for surgical procedures, the robotically-assisted keyhole surgical system is a powerful and highly advanced tool that enables precision and intricate surgery to be carried out speeding up operating times and recovery rates for patients.
UCAN's new fundraising website, at www.ucanfundraise.org.uk, allows fundraisers to register events they have organised and set up sponsorship pages for their friends and family to give online donations.
Visitors to the site can also find out more about volunteering opportunities with the charity, as well as having the option of purchasing UCAN merchandise or simply making a donation.
• For more information please visit www.ucanfundraise.org.uk, call Fiona JD Pearson on 01224 559312 or 07702 795409 or email