Cancer Lads twins to take on massive challenge to visit 92 football stadiums in England
Twin brothers, who vowed to dedicated their lives to help others after they were both diagnosed with testicular cancer, have set themselves a season-long challenge to visit every stadium in the English Football Leagues to raise awareness.
Sean and Ryan Collard, of Hetton, were both diagnosed with testicular cancer just days apart in September 2017.
Ryan, then aged 23, was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer and it was only after his brother diagnosis that Sean found a lump in his testicles and was diagnosed just 20 days later – although it was caught at an earlier stage.
In the last two years, both brothers have undergone surgery and chemotherapy and have been by each others’ sides during their battles.
The pair are now cancer-free and are getting ready to take on a huge fundraising challenge.
Earlier this year the pair set up Cancer Lads, an organisation aimed at promoting awareness of cancer in men and giving people a platform to talk about their experiences.
In a message to the Cancer Lads page, Chris wrote: “Amazing what you’re doing, keep it up and keep recovering. Health is everything. Haway the lads.”
Ryan and Sean, now 25, have set themselves a season-long challenge, which will begin in August, to speak to as many men as possible about the symptoms of testicular cancer and the importance of checking themselves.
They’re also hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Trekstock, a charity the brothers are ambassadors for, and Teenage Cancer Trust.
Ryan said: “We will attempt to reach all 92 stadiums across the English Football Leagues within one football season.
“After both of our battles, we are desperate to raise awareness of the symptoms of testicular cancer and more importantly teach men how to check themselves!
“We will be putting up posters around the stadiums and giving out information cards to men with this information on. Alongside walking around outside the stadiums with buckets to collect money for these charities who have both massively helped us through our cancer journeys.”
Admitting they’re both ‘football-mad’, Sean said football stadiums were a great way of speaking to their target audience.
“We’ve split the stadiums in half, so we’ll be taking on 46 each throughout the season,” said Sean, who lives in Hetton.
“It’s a big challenge to undertake and we’ll be travelling to games most Saturdays as well as Sunday and mid-week fixtures.
“We’re both football mad and, although a lot of women attend football games, the large majority are men – who are our target audience.
“At the bigger teams thousands of men will be walking past that we can speak to and hand out leaflets – we want to reach as many men as possible.”
The twins are appealing for the community’s support to help with the cost of information cards, reusable posters and the cost of transport to get around the country.
Sean added: “This is our challenge, we’ve chosen to do it. Any money that will help us is greatly appreciated. If there are any funds left over after the year they will be split equally between the Teenage Cancer Trust and Trekstock charities.”
The duo had hoped to carry out the challenge throughout 2020 but complications with contacting the clubs means they’ve pushed the challenge back to the 2020/21 football season.
To donate to the challenge, click here.