Brought to you by The X Foundation, in association with the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Support Federation, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Day will be held on June 19th 2010 (the day before Father's Day in the UK). To mark this special day, we are launching a brand new annual event, The Great Drag Race.
The Federation has been invited to participate in, and benefit from, this event, sharing the profits equally with the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation. We are aware that some of our members have reservations about the wisdom of this event, but at the same time, others are strongly in favour of it, as a novel and entertaining way of raising both awareness and money. The Federation will very much welcome the monies raised, and applaud the higher profile in the public's awareness of the disease that we hope will result.
It's a spectacular new annual event that aims to radically increase the public's awareness of prostate cancer. A thousand men of all shapes and sizes will descend on London Fields, where they will each walk or run for 10.2km wearing a wig and a frock in order to drag the issue into the spotlight. That's one long stride for each of the 10,200 men who will die of the disease this year.
Why is it that breast cancer, which kills 12,000 women in the UK every year, gets ten times the attention that prostate cancer gets, when the latter kills almost as many men? Maybe it's just that prostate cancer is seen by many to be a disease that affects an unknown part of the body, of unknown function, which 'only' old men suffer from; whereas, we all know about women's breasts, and it's so sad to see so many young women cut down in their prime from that awful disease.
But, whatever the reason, it's a gross inequality, made worse by double standards when arguments for and against screening are considered.
The Great Drag Race is a lighthearted and entertaining way of drawing attention to this disgraceful state of affairs. It will provide a platform for men to show that they have issues, too, even if they have to dress up as women to talk about them! All participants will be asked to raise money for the two prostate cancer charities (Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Support Federation) via online sponsorship pages, and they will be required to wear flamboyant female clothing for the duration of the march. It's that simple.
The X Foundation's film crew is currently following ten brave men living with prostate cancer as they spend three months training to become drag queens in order to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness Day and The Great Drag Race in the most funny and flamboyant way possible. Here is a 3-minute teaser for the documentary.
The Great Drag Race will begin and end in London Fields, and is open to men of all ages and abilities. Although the distance is 10.2km, we want the support of everyone brave enough to take part, even if they can only manage the final ten yards. To help celebrate our achievements, there will be celebrities, guest performances, and an after-party for all our participants and their friends and families..
How can you support the event?
Whatever your views about the event, we are sure that you will want to support its aims: to raise awareness of prostate cancer, and to raise funds for prostate cancer research and patient support.
The best way to support it is to participate, and raise funds through sponsorship.
Alternatively, you can support the brave men who are doing it, by donating to their sponsorship pages. (Please note that, for accounting reasons, only the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation are listed as beneficiaries, but they have undertaken to split the proceeds 50:50 with the Federation)
If you would like to organise your own event on June 19th to increase awareness of prostate cancer and to raise much-needed funds, The X Foundation would like to help, so please get in touch. In future years, we hope that there will be lots of events taking place across the country on Prostate Cancer Awareness Day, which will always take place on the day before Father's Day in the UK.
The X Foundation has also commissioned a feature documentary about this extraordinary event, and the film crew is currently following ten brave men living with prostate cancer as they spend three months training to become drag queens for a special one-off performance to publicise Prostate Cancer Awareness Day and The Great Drag Race. You’ll be able to meet the courageous cast on their website from May.
The Prostate Cancer Support Federation is a member of
This page was updated on 19th May 2010
The Prostate Cancer Support Federation, 16 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS
Tel: 020 7228 5952. Registered Charity Nº: 1123373