Male Breast Cancer : Derry man sets challenge in memory of grandfather
Local man Chris McKeever has set himself the goal of walking 85,000 steps or roughly thirty miles around Derry’s city centre, in memory of his late grandfather, and to raise money for male breast cancer awareness.
Chris’ grandfather William (Willie) McKeever passed away on March 4 of this year.
Speaking about his grandfather’s illness, Chris told the Journal: “He was a carrier of the BRCA1 gene which led to him being diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.
“He had a mastectomy on his right side and fought to the very end. Myself, along with the majority of my immediate family also carry this gene, and several members have had their own battles with cancer.
Chris was grateful for the actions of staff at the Western Health & Social Care Trust’s breast screening clinic based at Altnagelvin.
“It is because of the quick actions of the breast screening clinic at Altnagelvin Hospital that we were able to share these extra years with my grandad so I am looking to raise funds for their department,” he said.
According to the NI direct website, breast cancer “usually occurs in men over 60, but can very occasionally affect younger men”.
Signs of breast cancer in men include:
*a lump in the breast – this is usually hard, painless and doesn’t move around within the breast
*the nipple turning inwards (inverted nipple)
*fluid oozing from the nipple (nipple discharge), which may be streaked with blood
*a sore or rash around the nipple that doesn’t go away
*the nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red or swollen
*small bumps in the armpit (swollen glands)
Men with close family members who have a history of breast cancer are encouraged to get checked out by their local GP. Finding a lump in your breast or any other worrying symptom, such as nipple discharge is also reason enough to seek medical advice.
Chris Mc Keever said: “I am also trying to raise awareness for men to get regular breast check-ups. Many men were surprised and shocked that my grandad passed away as a result of breast cancer, many saying ‘I didn’t think men could get that’.
“Although the percentages are lower with men it is still a possibility s please either get checked or self-check.”
When asked why 85,000 steps (roughly thirty miles), Chris explained that: “My grandad would have been turning 85 years old on May 28 2021. We always enjoyed our ‘walks’ which usually meant we would walk to a local bar, so on this date I will be attempting to walk 85,000 steps, in his memory.”
While undertaking the challenge he has set himself, Chris will be wearing a special football jersey in honour of the team his grandfather supported, Southampton F.C. with the name Willie and number 85 emblazoned on it.
To donate to Chris McKeever’s fundraiser visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chris-mckeever?utm_term=WZGn5R5Db