Rosie & David McNamaraUpon hearing about a man raising over $6,500 for breast cancer, some might momentarily wonder what a man has to do with breast cancer. What's this do-gooder's deal anyway -- walking for disease that primarily affects women? Well, hold your sexist fire, ladies -- and shame on you anyway, this is charity! -- Irishman David McNamara is, indeed, a breast cancer survivor, however, he walked all the way across Ireland to raise money for future health of his daughters' and many other women.
In 2007, at the age of 59, David McNamara was diagnosed with breast cancer. His mom died of breast cancer in her early 40s, but like most men -- because breast cancer diagnosis in men is significantly lower than for women -- David didn't think breast cancer would happen to him. Unfortunately, he was wrong.
Through the shock and a double mastectomy, David and his wife Rosie decided to fight the good fight against cancer, not only as a "thank you" for the life-saving treatment that David received, but in memory of his mother and for his daughters and brothers who could also carry the breast cancer gene.
At age 62 and having also been diagnosed with prostate cancer, McNamara and his wife set out to raise money for the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal, the only charity in the UK entirely dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer. Starting on St. Patrick's Day, the couple walked all the way across Ireland -- 130 miles from Dublin Bay to Galway Bay for the charity. Because being active and healthy can reduce your risk and prevent breast cancer, the charity's "Million Mile Challenge" encouraged fitness while also raising money to prevent breast cancer.
McNamara's dedication to breast cancer prevention truly shines a light on the fact that breast cancer, while it primarily affects women, is really a disease that affects women, men, and their entire families in many ways. McNamara told the Galway Advertiser:
This charity is very close to my heart as hereditary breast cancer affects every member of the family. Not only have I struggled with this disease myself, my mother lost her battle with breast cancer at just 43. I also have three daughters so I’m proud to be supporting the UK’s only charity entirely dedicated to the prevention of the disease.
Did you know men can get breast cancer?
Image via Davemckendal's Blog