Worldwide Cancer Research Menu


Scots set to turn world ‘upside down’ to highlight impact of cancer diagnosis

Footballer and cancer survivor Alan Stubbs has backed a Worldwide Cancer Research drive to mark World Cancer Day (04 February 2018).

The ex-Hibernian manager and Celtic defender joined a host of people across Scotland turning a small part of their world upside down to illustrate the impact of a cancer diagnosis.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the life-saving cancer research Worldwide Cancer Research funds – and the role research plays in developing more effective treatments for people affected by cancer, now and in the future.

The Scottish-based charity funded 107 cancer research projects in 17 different countries in 2017, and has committed £4 million towards funding a further 20 projects in 2018, each with a focus on working towards its vision where no life is cut short by cancer.

Stubbs, 46, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999 aged 28, and then underwent surgery in 2001 when further tests revealed a tumour at the base of his spine. He also lost his father to cancer the same year.

The footballer made a full recovery and was back playing football within months, but admits the experience changed his outlook on life.

Investment in research and advances in treatments mean that now 98 per cent of men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer can be cured.

Stubbs also highlighted the importance of people getting concerns checked, as the chances of survival are higher when the disease is found early.

Alan Stubbs, who is backing the Worldwide Cancer Research campaign, said:

“Being told I had cancer pulled the rug from under me. I was young, at the height of my career and it was the last thing I expected to hear.

“I credit football with saving my life, as I was diagnosed as a result of a routine drug test. Had I not been pulled in after the Scottish Cup Final, my story might have been very different.

“I feel like the luckiest guy in the world as my cancer was found early and I was able to access treatments and care that helped me beat it. There’s so much that can be done to treat cancer nowadays, and things are changing all the time thanks to the pioneering research that’s saving lives.

“I just put my faith in the doctors and kept a positive mind. Yes, cancer turns your world upside down, but there is hope.”

Dr Helen Rippon, CEO at Worldwide Cancer Research said:

“Our vision is that no life should be cut short by cancer, and we’re delighted so many people have united in support of our Lives Turned Upside Down campaign on World Cancer Day.

“Worldwide Cancer Research funds pioneering research projects across the world, working tirelessly to outsmart cancer and find better ways to diagnose and treat the disease.

“This vital research wouldn’t happen without funding and we continue to be indebted to our many supporters who are helping turn things around for those facing a cancer diagnosis and their families.”


Jack Williams, from Solihull, has won a campaign to be Britain’s representative for the trip of a lifetime: a polar expedition across the arctic. A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and he’s chosen to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research ahead of the trip.

To secure the nomination, Jack fought a hard campaign to win the public’s votes, even getting his Granny involved handing out flyers on the streets of his hometown of Solihull near Birmingham. He was the clear winner for the UK securing his place with well over 10,000 votes. The trip in April 2017 will see participants from all over the world who secured a place in the competition which took place over the past few months.

Fundraising isn’t a requirement to be part of the expedition, which is run by the popular Swedish outdoor brand Fjallraven, but Jack wanted to use his campaign to raise funds for more research because he believed it saved his life from a recent diagnosis of testicular cancer.

“Without advances in research, I may not have lived to see Christmas” said Jack. “This is the trip of a lifetime for me personally, but I also want to use this opportunity to raise money and awareness for a fantastic cause- pioneering research which helps cancer patients, like me, ultimately survive.”

99% of men diagnosed with testicular cancer survive when caught in time because of advances in research.

Julie Stewart Simpson from Worldwide Cancer Research said “It’s because of people like Jack that we do what we do at Worldwide Cancer Research. We fund the best research anywhere in the world so that ultimately more people survive this cruel disease. We’re overwhelmed by his passion and dedication, and we’re excited to support him on this journey of a lifetime.”

Jack, who is a keen outdoor explorer, will be using the next few months to fundraise for the charity, train and prepare for the expedition. You can watch an interview with him about his trip on Good Morning Britain here.