Neil’s Story

I have been successfully treated for testicular cancer this year (I actually received a much appreciated ‘good luck’ tweet for you guys on the morning of my operation) and am now in remission. Throughout the time I found that I often couldn’t think of any questions at the right times and then would have loads later that I couldn’t find answers to. I decided to keep a blog as things progressed and in it I tried to be both as honest but also as descriptive as possible so that if anyone else was looking for those answers they could read them first hand.

I don’t know if its something you would be interested in but I am more than happy for you to post a link to it, or reproduce sections of it on your website if you like? This is in no way an ego trip to get more viewers – I haven’t actually shared my page with any of my family or friends but am more than happy for a stranger to read it if it helps even one person. Nor am I seeking anything in return (although I am planning a few runs for The Christie including the London Marathon next year) so may plug a JustGiving page at some point in the future. Like I say I would just like to help anyone going through what Ive been through.


Anyway, feel free to read and do with as you like – my blog is

A £20 Donation from Liam

Hi my name is Liam and I run a fantasy football account on twitter (@FPLFiend) and have supported balls to cancer from the beginning.

The lads at balls to cancer are doing an unbelievable job of raising awareness and deserve all the credit they get.

Keep up the good work gents!!

Thanks Liam Much appreciated

We have also had a £50 donation from Locks Richmond 

Thank you all EVERY penny counts!

Marstons Make a Brilliant Donation

As part of their ongoing commitment to supporting local charities Marstons PLC based in Wolverhampton made a massive £1000 donation to our cause. This money will make a massive difference in our fight against male cancer.

I would like to thank Sian Hazlehurst for organising it and being kind enough to hand over the cheque herself

Our latest Health update from Melissa Hathaway

Study Finds Gender Gap in Cancer Survival Rates

A recent report from Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed the welcome news that today there are around 400,000 people in England that have survived for between ten and twenty years after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

More women are surviving longer

However, the research, which was carried out in conjunction with the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), has also found evidence of a gender gap in the longer term survival rates. While survival rates are similar for both men and women in the first few years after a cancer diagnosis, there are apparently almost twice as many women still alive than men between ten and twenty years later.

The Daily Express suggests that this might be the result of recent medical advancements in the treatment of breast cancer, which have meant that it now has a much better survival rate than many other types of cancer. As breast cancer is more common amongst women than men, its increasing survival rate could be boosting up the overall cancer survival rate for women.

Macmillan and NCIN are apparently to look into this gender gap in survival rates in greater detail in the next phase of their study.

Poor health in cancer patients

Some cancer patients continue to suffer poor health after their cancer has been treated, both because of side effects caused by the disease and also because of the impact of their gruelling cancer treatments.

One of the most infamous side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is hair loss, which can be extremely distressing for patients who already have to cope with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, there is now a technique known as scalp cooling that can minimise the impact of chemotherapy drugs on hair follicles and can help to reduce hair loss. Similarly, medical advances have led to treatments for other types of hair loss such as male-pattern baldness which, according to the NHS, affects around 6.5 million men across the UK at any one time. For some men, the loss of their hair can be the cause of great distress, and can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and self-confidence. Fortunately, safe and legal treatments like propecia are now available that can help to combat male-pattern baldness and give men a weapon to fight back against unwanted hair loss.

Other frequent side effects for cancer patients include both physical symptoms such as fatigue, pain, weight fluctuations and problems with mobility. Cancer patients can also suffer mentally and emotionally, with many experiencing depression and overwhelming feelings of sadness following a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Gardening can boost patients’ wellbeing

Some of these side effects will need further medical intervention to treat them, but there are a number of things that cancer patients can do to aid their own recovery and wellbeing, particular with regard to their mental health.

A piece of research carried out by Macmillan, in conjunction with the National Garden Scheme, found that gardening was actually a very effective way of coping with depression. The study questioned 41 gardeners who had received a cancer diagnosis, and found that four out of five of them reported a reduction in stress and anxiety as a result of working in their garden. They also gained a number of physical benefits, with over 50% saying they felt they had more energy, while a third thought it helped to manage the weight fluctuations they experienced following on from their cancer treatment.

An active lifestyle is beneficial

Previous research funded by Macmillan had already identified that regular exercise such as walking, jogging or swimming could be very beneficial in combatting depression suffered by cancer patients.  During the study, a number of women took part in an exercise programme while receiving their cancer treatment. Doctors offered Kratom, Kratomystic, to help reduce a lot of the stress we faced.When they were questioned at a follow up interview five years later, these women reported an increased quality of life and fewer incidences of depression compared to the women who had not been as active.

“It’s so important that we bust this myth that cancer patients should ‘rest up’,” explained Professor Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support. “So many patients and professionals still believe that it is necessary to rest during and after cancer treatment. However we know that that doing moderate physical activity such as gardening on a regular basis actually helps to significantly reduce the impact of side-effects of cancer treatment such as depression, fatigue, bone thinning, muscle wasting and heart damage.

Digital effects are becoming more and more relevant in the world today, things like digital accessibility compliance has to become more common for cancer patients so that the software can be of use to them.

“It is vital that people living with a cancer diagnosis are aware of these benefits and are encouraged to do moderate physical activity by health professionals, friends and family,” she concluded.

Charity football matches

Dear All,

I just wanted to ask respectfully that when you come to our Allstar charity matches that you please remember that the games are set up as a fundraiser and therefore we would like you to purchase post cards (£1) or Tee shirts (£5) before you ask our players for pictures and autographs.

The players will gladly do signings and pictures after the game when they have been showered and have come back out to the pitchside.

Therefore please ensure you do not encroach on the pitch or the players during the game as you will have plenty of time after the game.

Thank you hope to see you all there and look forward to saying hello.

BTC Allstars v Bolton Allstars 21-7-13

Our first away game will be held at the Atherton LR Football Club, Atherton, Gt Manchester. Our Allstars team led by Jody Craddock will be kicking off at 3pm and there will be a host of stars form stage and screen there.

The gates open at 11am and I’m told there will be lots going on including concerts…

I will let you know how to get tickets etc as soon as I have the details (as this event is not one of ours)


BTC Allstars v BTC FC Challenge cup. 18-8-13

This will be the first of our annual games where both of our teams will play each other for the coveted challenge shield. This game will be played at the Birmingham County FA Ground at Ray Hall Lane, Birmingham.

As usual this will be an all ticket match so get your tickets early.

All of our stars will be in attendance so make sure you buy your tee shirt on arrival as players will only sign and /or pose for pictures if you have one.

BTC Allstars v Aston Villa Old Boys

Another meeting of the Balls to Cancer Pro/Celebrity team as we go head to head with the former players of Aston Villa. This game will also be played at  Darlaston Town FC on the 7-7-13.

Kick off will be 3pm and gates open at 2pm

We will have music and fun all afternoon be the first in the queue.

Balls to cancer Allstars

Manager Jody Craddock – Sponsored by Target By Numbers

1 Bobby White (GB Handball team)

2 Maz Ajtar (Hollyoaks)

3 Ben Hanson (CBBC & Tracey Beaker)

4 Paul Lyon

5 Laurie Duncan  (Hollyoaks)

6 Devon Anderson (Eastenders)

7 John Omole (Hollyoaks)

8 Charlie Wernham (Hollyoaks)

9 Ayden Callaghan ( C ) (Hollyoaks)

10 Charlie Clapham (Hollyoaks)

11 Ed Stokes

12 Tom Alesbrook

14 Lee Smith

15 Nick Carrington

16 Adam Hyde

17 Mark Williams

18 Ricky Evans



Villa Team

  1. Derek Dudley
  2. Jon Pearson
  3. Bryan Small
  4. Mark Kinsella
  5. David Norton
  6. Lee Hendrie
  7. Tony Daley
  8. Mark Draper
  9. Mark Burke
  10. Gareth Farrelly
  11. Martin Carruthers




  1. Scott Rykard
  2. Steve Diggory
  3. Gavin Price