I’m a 25 year old survivor of testicular cancer, also the founder and current CEO of BaggyTrousersUK, a Greater Manchester based charity whose purpose is to raise the profile and public awareness of testicular cancer; educate males and those in contact with males on self-examination; and offer financial, emotional and peer support to males directly affected by testicular cancer.
At 21, I found myself in the position of being given the news no man wants to hear – “I’m afraid that you have testicular cancer”. Having fought back and won the fight, I’m now a determined advocate and campaigner to raise awareness of the disease that almost took my life. I want to use my experience to inspire others.
My beliefs changed after battling cancer at such a young age, I believe that everything happens for a reason, my life has changed for the better and is going from strength to strength every day.
After building BaggyTrousersUK from the ground up and serving as a trustee for 3 years I was offered a position as the project manager for a peer support group project which meant stepping down as a trustee and becoming a paid member of staff. In August 2017 I took on the project manager role which required one day per week, whilst working another job as a delivery driver, I continued to volunteer for the charity 3 days per week to keep up the day to day running of the organisation.
I had several conversations with the board of trustees about the workload and how much time the organisation requires to develop and grow, the trustees had their monthly meeting in December 2017 and decided it was the right time to create a full-time job role to manage the day to day running of the organisation in order to reach the charity’s mission, aims and goals. I was offered to take on the full-time job role and accepted, it was an overwhelming experience and I had Toby supporting me all the way through.
How I became involved
Being a founder of charity and a fellow CEO, I have been working closely with Toby to share knowledge and experience to better both organisations, I found myself consulting and working with other testicular cancer charities across the UK, as part of a network working together, the network ensures the correct statistics and messages are being given out by all; and contributing to the discussion on many social media platforms and in online media, including Huffington Post.
Toby and I spent some time together in January 2018 where we learned very quickly where the gaps were in each of our organisations, as The Robin Cancer Trust goes from strength to strength Toby told me he had done a skills gap analysis of the board of trustees and identified there was a gap in the area of non-profit/small charities and also survivorship, I really enjoy working with Toby, his passion and drive are similar if not higher than mine and he’s just the type of person I like to surround myself around.
After some considerable amount of thought and conversation between myself and Toby, I offered my expertise and skills to be put forward to his board of trustees and asked Toby if he would put me forward to be considered by the trustees. Toby snapped my hand off and within a matter of weeks I’d sent over my expression of interest to the trustees and awaited their decision, I was invited to their quarterly board meeting where I was offered a trustee position, it’s a real honour to be part of such an amazing team and I hope to bring plenty of ideas and value to The Robin Cancer Trust in my time as a trustee.
What I plan to bring to The Robin Cancer Trust
I was the chairman of BaggyTrousersUK for three years and in that time I covered a wide range of activities and was a big influence in the development and growth of the organisation in its early years. As a trustee for The Robin Cancer Trust I feel I’m bringing a wealth of skills and experience to the table to help the organisation achieve its aims and objectives. I plan to work closely with the Founder & CEO Toby to help develop his skills in growing the organisation as the Chief Executive Officer.
I feel I have joined The Robin Cancer Trust at a very exciting time, the trustees are due to create and implement a new 5 year plan and I have the opportunity to contribute towards that. Toby and the team do a fantastic job in raising awareness of Germ Cell Cancers to the right demographic of people. I look forward to actively contributing to the successes of the charity and working as part of a strong team.