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  • International Men’s Day 2020

    International Men's Day 2020

    International Men’s Day in the UK is on Thursday 19 November every year and it is celebrated around the world in at least 60 countries.

    Every year, International Men’s Day in the UK is marked by more and more women, men and organisations across the country. Across November in the UK there is a Parliamentary debate, policy launches, employer days, community events, health days, business events, debates, student events, political events, gigs, conferences, competitions, comedy nights and charity fundraisers – the most anywhere in the world.

    Organisations and people do not have to stick to holding an event or celebration on 19 November if they want to mark the day.

    The three core themes for International Men’s Day in the UK are:
    • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
    • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
    • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity

    These core themes help to address some of the issues that affect men and boys such as:
    • The high male suicide rate
    • The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education including attainment and re-skilling
    • Men’s health (including male cancers), shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths
    • The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
    • Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
    • The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
    • Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
    • The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers
    IMD in the UK takes a gender inclusive approach and therefore believes in ensuring that issues affecting women and girls are also resolved. It also recognises the intersection between gender and other factors such as race and sexuality, which can compound the inequalities affecting men and boys.

    If you are interested in Men and Boys issues all year round – please look at the Men and Boys Coalition. info@menandboyscoalition.org.uk

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  • A dad diagnosed with breast cancer says he felt isolated and lonely after being rejected by Facebook support groups because he is male.

    David McCallion, 55, was diagnosed with the illness shortly before his 30th wedding anniversary and even his own doctor assumed that his wife was the patient when they talked about the diagnosis. Facing a mastectomy and being left to feel as though ‘real men’ don’t get breast cancer, he turned online to look for support. But, he was told that he could not join because he was a man and it would prevent other members from opening up about their own concerns. He said: ‘I was made to feel like I was muscling in, but the last thing I wanted to do was jump up and down saying, “Look at me I’ve got breast cancer too”.’ Every year 390 men are diagnosed as having the condition in the UK and 80 of them die. David, from Manchester, said: ‘If the other 389 men feel anything like I did, something needs to be done. I will never be the same person I was before my diagnosis. Cancer is lonely, full stop. But being a man in what I call the ‘pink world’ of breast cancer – that’s even lonelier.’

    He said: ‘When I tell other blokes about my diagnosis, half say, “Men don’t get breast cancer,” and I lift up my shirt and say, “Yes they do.” ‘Some ask why I’ve had it, as if to say, “Are you really a man?” David, who is married to Julie, 54, and they have two sons, want to break taboos around male breast cancer. He was diagnosed in 2015 with gynaecomastia, a common condition causing men’s breasts to become larger than normal. Then in April 2019, David noticed his right nipple was inverted and thought it must be linked to the condition. He was referred to the Royal Oldham Hospital but he was not initially concerned. But then the results for tests came back. He said: ‘Twenty minutes after the biopsy the doctor said that, in his opinion, there was a 99 per cent chance it was going to be cancer’. The first thing I thought was, “How the hell am I going to tell my family?”

    ‘My second thought was, “How am I going to tell everybody else I have breast cancer – as a man?” My head was completely gone.’ David went back to hospital with his wife a few days later to find out more. He said: ‘For the next eight minutes everything the doctor said was addressed to my wife and, in the end, I had to tell him to talk to me and not to her. ‘He explained that he breaks this news to women day in day out, which is why he didn’t address me at first.’ He was told that he would need a full mastectomy on his right breast, which he delayed until after celebrating his wedding anniversary in August last year. Speaking about going under the knife, he said: ‘I gave (Julie) a quick hug and said, “See you later.” I didn’t want her to think I was worried.’ He later needed another 24 lymph nodes removed, that were found not to be cancerous, but is now on a gruelling regime of chemotherapy, which will last until the end of next month.

    He is also facing further tests to find out if the condition is hereditary as his mother also had breast cancer. He was told his surgery had been a success but, after the lymph node tested positive, on October 4 David – who was not offered reconstructive surgery and does not want it – had a further 24 removed. As his treatment progressed, he found the #bluegetittoo awareness campaign about male breast cancer. Now David is keen to make men aware that breast cancer can affect them, too, and is urging them to check themselves for tell-tale symptoms.

    Source: Metro

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Organisations we have worked with to promote men’s health and wellbeing

How to get in touch:

Jonathan Prince, Trustee

Crofton House, 5 Morley Close
Orpington
Kent
BR6 8JR

(t) 01689 858877

(e) enquiries@blueribbonfoundation.org.uk.

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