Marathon mission for men’s health
AN ARMSTRONG Creek resident is taking on a marathon a week for the month of November to raise funds for prostate cancer research and suicide prevention.
Real estate agent Ben Wallis completed his first marathon last week and will run three more before the month is out.
“It’s pretty crazy but I guess the crazier it is the more likely people are going to prick the ear up and either donate or get involved,” he said.
All funds raised will support the work of men’s health charity, Movember.
Wallis hopes his fundraising campaign will help to raise awareness, start conversations and break down the stigma surrounding men’s health.
“Movember’s been something that’s been pretty close to my heart for the last couple of years,” Wallis said.
“My grandpa, about 15 years ago, got prostate cancer and thankfully with some early detection was able to get treatment and he’s still with us today.”
He said it was his grandfather’s experience, along with his own struggles with anxiety, that have driven him to take up the marathon challenge.
“One in five Australian men throughout their lifetime will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but obviously a lot more Australian men are dealing with anxiety,” Wallis said.
“Sometimes cancer can feel like a distance thing until it’s not and someone in the family, or yourself, has been hit with it.”
Last year, Wallis raised more than $2,500 for Movember running 10 kilometres a day.
He hopes to raise even more this year and said he will commit to a fifth marathon if it helps inspire people to dig a little deeper and donate.
However, Wallis said his main motivation remained building awareness about men’s health.
“Get your blood test and check in with your doctor and make sure everything’s okay health-wise.
“To the things that aren’t so visible like your mental health, whether it’s your dad, your brother, your uncle, your cousin… set a little task to check in with one person a day.
“It’s that one conversation a day and you never know how powerful it might be.”
To donate, head to au.movember.com and search for Ben Wallis.