Fundraising concert to break the bladder cancer stigma!

Colin O’Sullivan is holding a charity concert for Fight Bladder Cancer and Colostomy UK

After battling bladder cancer last year, which could only be treated with life-changing surgery, Colin O’Sullivan was left with two stomas. He now wants to help make a difference for other patients and break the stigma behind topics perceived by many as embarrassing.

Colin will be holding a charity concert on the 19th of June 2022 to help raise vital awareness and funds for bladder cancer. Colin’s passion for raising awareness for bladder cancer comes from his own self-confessed ‘sheer lack of knowledge’ and the ignorance that comes from people’s reluctance to discuss subjects like 'wee' and 'poo' when it's something everyone does every day.

“My ignorance and naivety amaze me even now!” he admits. 

It is vital that people know the symptoms of bladder cancer and get to their GP as soon as they have these symptoms. Early diagnosis is critical. It is so important that people do not feel embarrassed to speak about them. Dialogue around bladder cancer and the issues that come with it will make a world of difference! 

Colin says he was “absolutely floored by the words ‘I'm sorry to have to tell you, Mr O'Sullivan, that you have a T3 muscle-invasive bladder cancer which cannot be treated with chemo or radiotherapy.’”

“I still remember it word for word,” he says. 

“Following my operation, I felt complete horror seeing how I looked sporting two new stoma bags, feeling like I'd been hit by a convoy of trucks, not believing I would ever be fit enough to work again and thinking that my role as a husband had been most seriously curtailed.”

“Once the brilliant staff at the hospital had worked their magic, I was sent off home to try to get my head around just what had happened and what impact it was going to have on my life going forward.”

“I had been made aware of two charities and spent much time online reading the huge amount of helpful information they had, which helped me immensely, in the beginning, to make some sense of things and begin to rebuild some aspects of my former life.”  

These two little known charities are Fight Bladder Cancer and Colostomy UK.

“They have been immensely helpful to me through my journey,” Colin adds. 

“Given all the publicity and promotion some other cancer charities receive, I was so surprised at how little I'd been aware of bladder cancer. I thought, what can I do to help?”

As a humble player of the trombone, Colin thought he’d ask his colleagues in the Guardian Concert Band if they would be interested in helping him raise some money with a concert. 

“Their agreement to do the concert has kicked off a whole new purpose in my life, a few new stresses but some hope that I could probably at least still do something useful!”

The charity concert will be held on Sunday 19th June at 2:30 pm. The band will be playing popular film theme music; think Jurassic Park and Les Miserables!

The charity concert will be held at AKS School, Clifton Drive South, Lytham, FY81DT. Tickets are £10, and the venue can seat up to 300 people.


Did you know?

Every year, 21, 181 people are diagnosed with invasive and non-invasive bladder cancer in the UK. ( Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the western world. For men, it is the 4th most common.  

Fight Bladder Cancer needs financial support to ensure we can make a difference for people affected by bladder cancer. Bladder cancer currently receives just 1% of cancer research funding in the UK despite the number of people diagnosed. Perhaps the lack of awareness of how common bladder cancer is part of the reason so many people feel embarrassed to talk about their symptoms and experiences. 

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