A Norfolk brewer has pushed a 75kg barrel of beer all the way from its Hindringham base in Norfolk to St Bartholomew’s Hospital – a journey of over 200km – to raise awareness of testicular cancer and the work of Norfolk cancer charity It’s On The Ball.
David Holliday, from Moon Gazer Ale, said: “It all started when I rather casually quipped on social media that if Moon Gazer won the public vote for East of England Co-Op’s Producer of the Year award that I would push a barrel of our charity ale Tobi’s Tipple – which we brew for It’s On The Ball – all the way to the oncology team at St Bartholomew’s.
“The hospital treats many young men from Norfolk for testicular cancer and it seemed fitting to make the journey to them.”
The nine day trip through the towns and villages of East Anglia and eventually London was originally planned to take place in 2020 but the pandemic made it impossible.
“It has taken an awful lot of planning,” David continues.
“For starters, choosing a route which is safe to push the barrel along was challenging – I’m not sure the authorities will be keen to see me pushing a barrel beer along the M11.”
David also raised awareness of testicular cancer with groups along the route – such as businesses, sports clubs and pubs – to chat about the killer disease, which has a 98% survival rate if diagnosed early.
“The hope is that the beer push will get people talking – it’s more about raising awareness than anything else,” David said.
“No young man needs to die of this disease but sadly they do simply because they are not diagnosed soon enough.
“By getting people talking about testicular cancer we can spot symptoms early – that’s why we promote monthly checks – since a delay of just four weeks could well be a death sentence to fit and healthy men.”
By pushing the bright blue barrel and chatting to people along the way the team hope they help men understand more about testicular cancer.
Speaking on behalf of the uro-oncology team at St Bartholomew’s, clinical nurse specialist Michelle Greenwood said: “We run one of the most successful testicular cancer support groups in the country and are proud to work with the Testicular Cancer Network which is made up of many charities including Its on the Ball.”
“It was great to be involved in such an amazing effort from David and his team to raise awareness of testicular cancer.
“April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important that people talk about checking for signs and symptoms in what is normally a taboo subject and often difficult for men to talk about.”