AS COSTUMES go it’s safe to say this one will turn your head.
University of Portsmouth student Jack Woodward is taking part in the London Marathon dressed as a giant pair of testicles.
Despite the comical aspect of his attire, he hopes it will draw attention to a serious disease after his housemate Rob Harris died of testicular cancer aged only 21 – just a month after being diagnosed.
Jack, 22, said: ‘I lived with Rob and we got on well.
‘I got to know him from the football society and then we moved in together.
‘He was athletic and healthy and was feeling fine, but then one day he started coughing up blood.’
Rob went to see his GP last October when this happened, and initially it was put down to a chest infection.
Rob took antibiotics for two weeks, and his condition became so bad that Jack drove his friend to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
Jack added: ‘After tests there Rob was told to stay overnight and in two days later he was transferred to Southampton General Hospital – we then found out he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
‘He passed away a month later. It shocked and surprised us all, we couldn’t believe how quickly things moved.
‘We found out the cancer had spread to his lungs.’
Now in a bid to raise awareness of testicular cancer and the charity Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, Jack along with friends Joe Kelly and Joni Smith have been taking part in a series of events.
Jack will be running the 26-mile marathon route on April 26 dressed as the charity’s mascot Mr Testicles.
He added: ‘I want to highlight that people should be more aware of their bodies and make sure they check themselves regularly.
‘We really want to get this message across and hope by running in the costume that more people will notice the cause and think about the message.’
The group of friends have set themselves a target of raising £5,000 and have so far raised £1,600. To donate, visit justgiving.com/jack-woodward1/
Student gets a thank you for his fundraising
A CANCER charity is thanking Jack for his fundraising efforts.
Laura Hurding from Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, said: ‘A big thank you to Jack for taking on this challenge – it’s by no means an easy one.
‘Jack’s story about his friend Rob tragically highlights the importance of men knowing the early signs of testicular cancer and not feeling embarrassed to seek medical advice.
‘Jack’s challenge will help raise awareness of testicular cancer and hopefully many young men’s lives can be