BRAVE 2023 Lineup

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Russell Dudley

Posted:
6 April 2023
Category:

RUSSELL SET TO BRAVE THE CATWALK THIS MAY

Russell Dudley, who has been a Security Officer at P&J Live since 2019, is one of 24 local models gentlemen affected by cancer who will hit the catwalk this May as part of BRAVE - a fundraising initiative hosted over two nights for local cancer and haematology charity, Friends of ANCHOR.

This event forms part of the ANCHORED Together appeal, which aims to provide £2m for additional enhancements to The ANCHOR Centre – a new 5,500m² healthcare hub on Aberdeen’s Foresterhill Health Campus opening in September 2023 to provide outpatient cancer and haematology care to 65,000 North-east people every year.

We sat down with Russell to gain insight into his personal story and find out why taking part and raising awareness is so important to him.

Russell Dudley

MY STORY…

“In December 2020 I noticed something wasn’t quite right. I chose to ignore my symptoms which were initially pain and discomfort, I hoped they would go away in a few weeks, but unfortunately, they didn’t. It was then that I got in touch with my doctor, who initially told me due to there being no lump it was most likely a cyst. They still acted very quickly, bringing me into the surgery for an examination. I was then sent for an ultrasound scan at Frederick Street and then straight to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where they did some blood work. I didn’t really know what was going on, to be honest.

“A surgeon came and sat down beside me and delivered the devastating news that I was facing testicular cancer. At this point my world completely flipped.

“I had an operation just over two weeks later and was told that a high percentage of people who go through this procedure walk away with about 3 weeks of chemotherapy treatment afterwards. Unfortunately, this was not the case for me and on the 1st of February 2021 I started my 9 weeks of intensive chemotherapy.

“My cancer, although treatable, was a very aggressive form and the treatment I received was intense and persistent. My treatment was also during the pandemic, so it was very solitary at times and both physically and emotionally challenging.

“On the 7th of May 2021, I am glad to say that I was given the all-clear. This made the whole process, while extremely difficult, worth it!”

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ENTER BRAVE?

“From early on in my treatment I decided that I want to do something every so often to help Friends of ANCHOR. I wanted to be able to raise vital funds and awareness of the charity since they had supported me and the ward I was on (The Anchor Unit). Here they supply lots of complimentary therapies, such as podiatry, massage, reflexology, and mindfulness sessions to make a difficult time a lot more bearable. When the opportunity to be part of BRAVE came up, I went for it.

“I want to raise awareness that a cancer diagnosis can happen to anyone at any stage of their life, but you can make it out the other side. After meeting the rest of the gentlemen participating in the event, I realised I wasn’t the only young one. It was great to be able to share the same enthusiasm for fundraising and spreading the word for such a good cause.”

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?

“In all honestly, after having a few gatherings with the rest of the squad, I’m excited to watch them have the best time and enjoy themselves. I can’t wait to hear the crowds in the beach ballroom lose their minds for the men walking with me - they are truly a special bunch and deserve every second of the applause.”

WHAT OTHER FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU DONE?

“Last year I took on a 10,000ft skydive and I would do it again tomorrow! What an experience it was, and it helped me raise £1,100 for the charity. At this time, I was just shy of a year from the all-clear and it felt like the right time to do it. Maybe next year I’ll do something a little more daring…”

Russell Dudley Skydive

Since 2017, BRAVE has moved, inspired, and motivated more than 4,500 people, while raising an incredible £560,000 for North-east cancer and haematology care. We can’t wait to see Russell make his catwalk debut on Thursday 4th & Friday 5th May 2023 at the Beach Ballroom and help continue the important work of the charity.

If you’d like to donate to Russell’s campaign in support of Friends of ANCHOR, visit his JustGiving Page here.

BRAVE 2022 Highlights

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