Bryan Walters with the team at the Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre
MARVELLOUS moustaches have been grown by security staff at a Birkenhead shopping centre to raise awareness about a form of cancer which has affected one of their team.
Bryan Walters, a security supervisor at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre, was diagnosed with testicular cancer aged just 25.
Within days of getting the devastating news he underwent an operation to remove the tumour which had already spread into his lymph nodes and endured six cycles of chemotherapy to beat the disease.
He was given the all clear in 2003 and does not miss an opportunity to share his personal story with friends and colleagues in a bid to encourage them to visit the doctor if they have any concerns.
Bryan, 47, from Wallasey who has worked at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping centre for 16 years, said: "I had left it a while before going to the doctors and he told me off at the time for not going sooner.
"It’s true what they say, men hate going to the doctors and put it off but with something like this, you must not risk it.
"I have had friends and colleagues coming to me in the past who know what I have been through and have asked me what they should do because they have found a lump and my advice is always the same.
"Get yourself checked out fast because testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer particularly when it is caught early enough.
"I tell them about how when I was on the hospital ward getting treated, there was another young man, a really good lad, who was not as lucky as me. He had just got married and had found out the cancer had spread to his brain and it was terminal.
"That’s why I tell people not to wait but to get things checked out if they are worried."
Bryan has been among approximately 850,000 men globally taking part in Movember.
The increasingly popular event, which gets its name from a combination of moustache and November, sees men show off their weird and wonderful facial hair to raise money and awareness about men’s health, in particular prostate and testicular cancer.
Leading the campaign at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre is security officer Sean Cunningham who recruited a team of fellow security guards and the man in charge at the centre – Commercial Director Derek Millar – on his moustache mission.
Derek said: "Growing a moustache has been a laugh but I think we will all be glad to get the razors out.
"We have managed to raise close to £300 but I think more importantly, it has got us all joking and talking about some of these issues and that is important.
"Particularly as one of our own close colleagues knows what it is like to be faced with the terrible situation of dealing with testicular cancer.
"Men are not very good about discussing their health and this can be to our detriment so I think Mission Moustache at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre has been a great success for more than one reason."
Bryan, an American Football fan, who went on after his cancer treatment to play with The Merseyside Night Hawks for seven years, said he would also be pleased to get rid of his Movember moustache.
He said: "My wife Angie is not impressed and will be glad to see it gone. I tease her and say I have got quite attached to it.
"It has all been for a good cause at the end of the day and I suppose no one knows that better than me."
To donate to the Movember team at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre go to http://uk.movember.com/mospace/4493201
To submit your own Movember photos, go to www.wirralnews.co.uk/movember