Check ’em boys
221. Phil Morris
A former soldier from the Wirral, Merseyside who has spent the past 11 years supporting men with testicular cancer and raising awareness.
Phil Morris, 41, was himself first diagnosed with the cancer in 2003, and found there was little support to help him deal with the emotional and psychological side of having the disease. A chance backstage meeting with Paul Weller and his drummer Steve White while he was undergoing treatment led to Phil sharing his story.
Together, Phil and Steve went on to set up the website ‘checkemlads.com’, which gives straightforward information and support to young men. The site has had over 4 million hits and the campaign has attracted almost 20,000 members to Phil’s Facebook support group and 11,000 followers on Twitter. A dedicated team of 25 volunteers who have suffered from testicular themselves help run the campaign.
As well as running the website, Phil visits patients with testicular cancer in hospitals across the country and gives three awareness raising talks every month in schools and hospitals. He also organises an annual memorial walk up Mount Snowdon every August, which brings male cancer survivors together to make new friends and pay respects to men who have lost their battle with cancer. Survivors come from across the world to take part.
Thanks to Phil’s down to earth and engaging approach, his CheckEmLads campaign has taken off and his education and support films have been used by the NHS and are viewed across the world. The campaign has been so successful that he is now in the process of setting up “Checkemgirls.com“, a website for the ladies who’s partners or sons have been diagnosed can get help and advice.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Phil works tirelessly to raise awareness of testicular cancer in a straightforward, matter of fact way. His ‘CheckEmLads’ campaign is leaving young men across the country better informed and will save lives as a result. I am delighted make him a Point of Light.”
“I survived cancer and find myself grateful I did, as an ex soldier I think it is a duty to help others who are in pain or scared when they have cancer. There was nothing 10 years ago focused on male cancers and I saw it needed someone to step forward change this. I have a great team around me of survivors who spend their spare time helping me and others.”
Alison McGovern MP said:
“Phil Morris’ commitment to raising awareness of testicular cancer and promoting early diagnosis is truly inspirational and will have helped to save many lives. His remarkable story of surviving cancer and going on to work so hard to ensure many other men are able to do so and to improve the emotional and psychological support available to those diagnosed with testicular cancer shows why he is so deserving of this award. I want to pay tribute to the incredible work that Phil and his team of volunteers do and wish them continued success in tackling this terrible cancer and helping those diagnosed with it.”