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York Man to Take Part in 'Decembeard'


3:49pm 3rd December 2013

A York man is taking part in a hair-raising challenge to help beat bowel cancer this December.

Bill Tasselli, who’s wife Pip was diagnosed with bowel cancer this year, is growing a beard for Beating Bowel Cancer’s ‘Decembeard’  campaign to help raise awareness of the disease.

Bill Tasselli,  54, a Service Delivery Manager  for York-based mutual healthcare provider Benenden Health, said of his beard-growing challenge: “this promises to be the hairyist challenge ever”.

‘Decembeard’ is getting people across the country to become  a ‘Beardy’  for December to help increase awareness of bowel cancer and break down the stigma of talking about the disease.

Men, women and children can all take part in Decembeard: whether you want to grow a beard; wear a fake one for the day or have a beard bake-off with friends. 

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, with over a hundred people being diagnosed every day. Yet over 90% of cases can be treated successfully if caught early. Beating Bowel Cancer is a national charity that works to support all those affected by bowel cancer, as well as improving awareness of the condition and promoting early diagnosis. The charity’s helpline is a lifeline for people worried about the disease, patients going through treatment and also supports family members.

Last year’s campaign saw 740 ‘Beardys’ raise a total of £110,000. This December, the charity wants to sign up more than 1,000 people with the aim of raising £145,000.

Mark Flannagan Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer said: “One in four people are touched by bowel cancer in some way, either directly or through a family member or friend. It’s a very treatable condition if caught early, so Decembeard is a fun way people can raise money and help us to increase awareness of the condition.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Bill for becoming part of our team of ‘Beardys’. Such support is vital to the work that we do. We’re asking everyone to take up the challenge and become a Beardy to raise awareness of bowel cancer and help us support more patients and families affected by the condition.”

Paul Keenan, Head of Communications at benenden health said: “Decembeard is a great way of raising awareness of this life-threatening disease and to help generate vital funds. We wish Bill the best of luck with his hair-raising fundraising and we’ll be supporting him all the way.”

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