A Preston man is organising a 20.6-mile walk around the Guild Wheel to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
Jimmy Callagher has set up a charity called Purple Penguins with his cousins because their uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK, There are around 47,700 new prostate cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around 130 every day.
The Purple Penguins are hoping to set up various events for the charity with the first being March for Men Preston 2020.
Jimmy’s uncle Jerry survived due to early diagnosis, Jimmy said, “He just had a routine check-up at work,
“They found it early and he had his prostate removed. The operation was successful and last year Jerry celebrated 3 years cancer-free.”
The idea to start the charity and the unique name came about at a family wedding.
Jimmy and his cousins were all dressed in tails with purple cravats at the wedding where their uncle Jerry was able to give his sister away, hence the name Purple Penguins.
Jerry was emotional about the fact he was still there to be able to do that and challenged his nephews to do something for the charity.
The Preston march will be the Penguins first event and they hope it will be a success so they can build from it and carry on raising as much money as possible.
Jimmy said, “I want to make it as big as we can so we can get to a point where it is something we do annually,
“I’m currently trying to get in touch with people from Prostate Cancer UK so we can make it the official Preston event.”
Jimmy has chosen a walk because he wants the event to be open to as many people as possible, he said,
“A walks very inclusive, bring your children and bring your dog.”
Jimmy wanted everyone considering joining him to know that there is no pressure to complete the full walk.
He said, “I want everyone to be there at the start but if you want to do a few miles because that’s all you can do, that’s brilliant,
“If you want to walk 100 metres, I don’t mind as long as you come and join us at the start.”
Jimmy is hoping for a fun atmosphere and for people to enjoy the day, he said,
“I want it to be a family day, I want people to come and have a great day,
“We chose the Guild Wheel because it’s away from traffic and people can bring their children without any worries.”
Jimmy acknowledged that the distance is a tough one and expects the walk to take around 8 hours but will be planning stops along the way.
He said, “I’m going to speak to a few pubs and places along the way to plan toilet breaks and to get food and drinks,
“We’re not worried about how long it takes and expect it to be a full-day event.”
Jimmy will be training in preparation and suggests others attempting the walk to do the same.
He has set up a Justgiving page for the event but welcomes others doing the walk to set up their own and link it to the team page so individuals can see how much they have raised and how much is raised on the whole.
Jimmy has stressed that everyone is welcome because some people have asked if the event is just for men given the name.
He said, “People are saying to me is it just for men? It’s called March for Men because it’s a cancer related to men but everyone can join in.”
In the future, the Purple Penguins are hoping to help other cancer charities because it isn’t just prostate cancer that has affected his family.
Jimmy said, “My uncle who was lucky with it, his wife had breast cancer and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma either side of him having prostate cancer,
“So we’re not just going to do it for prostate cancer, we want to make Purple Penguins massive and help as much as we can.”
Jimmy has urged anyone that can offer any kind of support for the event to do so, he said,
“I’d appreciate anything that people can do, I’d love someone to do music for the start,
“If there are any DJs out there that would be willing to do 20 minutes while we set off,
“Anything that helps is a good thing, if anyone’s location is along the Guild Wheel and you want to offer up a toilet stop or something, every little helps.”
The taboo around men talking about prostate cancer is something Jimmy wants to help reduce aswell.
He said, “Men are very reluctant to get it checked, the taboo needs to go,
“My uncle wouldn’t have got it checked but he had to have one through work and that saved his life.”
March for Men Preston 2020 will start and finish at Avenham Park in Preston on Saturday 30th May 2020.
If you would like to attempt the walk, you can buy your ticket at the Eventbrite page here.
You will receive a wristband and T-shirt for the walk, there will not be an option to buy a ticket on the day but you can donate in person.
If you wish to just make a donation, the Justgiving page is here.
For any more information on the Purple Penguins, check out their Facebook page here.