With one in eight men in the UK facing prostate cancer, Tim Beynon found himself as one of the youngest to be diagnosed with the disease, aged 40. Faced with the physical and psychological impact of a life-changing cancer, he turned to running and, through The Running Drug, hopes to encourage more young men to face their health demons and take up the sport to boost their mental wellbeing.
Recalling his journey from childhood cross-country lessons and exercise indifference to the dark days of diagnosis and the joy of completing the London Marathon, Tim’s heart-warming tale is one of stoic determination and hope.
Championing the benefits of physical activity for mental health and published ahead of Men’s Health Week 2021, The Running Drug attempts to break down a stigma around men’s health that tragically prevents too many men from seeking help when they need it most. As a self-confessed ‘ordinary guy’ facing a challenge that befalls thousands every year, Tim’s inspirational story.will ring true for anyone who has ever faced personal adversity and dreamt of running a marathon.
As Tim explained: “I was unlucky. Prostate cancer only affects one in 10,000 men aged 40. But men of all ages are prone to ignoring the signs and symptoms of a wealth of physical and mental health issues, all out of embarrassment, pride or fear.
“I wrote The Running Drug because I wanted to shine a light on how nonsensical that is, why men needn’t fear their doctors and how, even when things seem impossibly hard, there are ways to cope. Running provided me with the escape and focus I needed to deal with my cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Whether it’s the London Marathon or your local Parkrun, I would invite anyone facing a challenge to their physical or mental health to join me on the trails and to see where they take you.”
A committed men’s health champion, Tim also hopes that, through The Running Drug, he can shine a spotlight on the need for a national prostate cancer screening policy in the UK for men aged over 40.
Commenting further, he said: “No other cancer kills as many men in the UK as prostate cancer, yet there is no national screening policy in place. This is unacceptable as men should know their risk factor from a young age, to avoid late diagnosis. I was diagnosed at 40, but had I not been tested until 45 my cancer would have been incurable. So this is genuinely a matter of life and death for men in this country and needs to be properly considered.”
Twenty-five percent of all sales income will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK.