ITV Presenter Carl Edwards was the special guest at today’s (June 24) Men’s Health event at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre.
The television front man was just 24 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and was keen to share his experience with men of all ages who came to the free Men’s Health Fayre organised by Cwm Taf University Health Board.
The health board arranged the event during Men’s Health month to encourage men to check their bodies and to not put off visiting their GP if they notice anything abnormal.
Carl said: “I'm delighted to be backing Men's Health Month and working with Cwm Taf University Health Board to encourage more men to get checked early if they suspect something isn't feeling right.
“Just visiting your GP to get an early diagnosis can save your life.
“Having been through testicular cancer and coming out the other side I’m proud to work with the health board alongside my role as Patron at Tenovus Cancer Care to get men talking about their health and not avoiding the issues.”
Blue balloons led the way to the free health event which showcased a range of information services.
Health professionals manned the information stands which were designed to educate men on prostate, testicular and cardiovascular health as well as mental health.
Staff of Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre also offered advice on fitness, exercise and healthy lifestyles.
Chairman of the health board Dr Chris Jones said: “It is really important for men to take their wellbeing seriously.
“We know lots of men choose to ignore or ‘tough it out’ when really seeking advice can be very reassuring and catching things early often leads to really good outcomes.
“So gentleman lets step up to the plate.”
The health board’s CRISIS team supported advice on mental health.
The community-based Valleys Steps also offered practical information to improve emotional well-being through the delivery of free Mindfulness and Stress Control Courses.
Valleys Steps service manager Felicity Crump said: “Valleys Steps is encouraged to see Cwm Taf highlighting the importance of men's well-being. We are pleased to be part of this constructive and informative event.”
Keryn Jones, lead urology nurse practitioner said: “As a department we are passionate that both health promotion and feeling able to talk to someone about health related issues are more accessible for men, and are delighted to be involved in this innovative health initiative.”
The crowds were entertained by members of the Tenovus Cancer Care choir and the ManVan proved to be popular.
Rachel Iredale director of Tenovus Cancer Care’s Cancer Support Team said: “We know that it can sometimes be difficult for men to talk about their worries, and those men who visit the ManVan, use our counselling services, or talk to our nurses find it enormously beneficial.
“We would encourage anyone who feels they would like a bit of extra support to get in touch with us on our Support Line which is open 365 days a year to see how we can help.”
The event was a success and initial feedback from the participants has been extremely positive. Michael Barnard, 58 from Penrhiwceiber said: “It is nice to see this event locally. As you get older it’s good to be able to access information about all kinds of men’s health problems.”