Teddies to boost fight against prostate cancer

John Wycherley of Sidmouth Gifts is looking for bear donations for Prostate Cancer UK. Ref shs 7478-

John Wycherley of Sidmouth Gifts is looking for bear donations for Prostate Cancer UK. Ref shs 7478-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A family touched by prostate cancer have launched a cuddly fundraiser to thank the charity that has given them so much support.

Jeannie Alderdice knew nothing of the disease in January - but soon her dad, Peter Sharp, and her partner, John Wycherley, were both diagnosed.

They have had support throughout from Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) and are appealing for 100 teddy bears to auction in the couple’s shop, Sidmouth Gifts, to thank the cause.

“PCUK have been incredible supportive,” said Jeannie.

“My dad isn’t the sort of person who would ever ask for help – he was a Royal Marine, a tough guy.


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“John has cancer in his prostate as well, a slowly spreading one. It’s been a tough year for us.”

Jeannie’s 70-year-old dad was only diagnosed when he went in to see the doctor when suffering from a stitch.

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He has since had his prostate removed and is on the road to recovery.

“I love teddy bears,” added Jeannie, who lives in Dunkeswell. “I’m not the sort of person that can run marathons. This seems a sweet way of doing it.”

Teddies have already been donated from Ireland and Scotland and she hopes to receive more from all over the country. Jeannie and John are both former lecturers and took on Sidmouth Gifts two years ago for a different way of life.

The figures about prostate cancer have shocked them both.

“It’s endemic in men – as insidious as breast cancer is in women,” said Jeannie.

“I didn’t know about it in January, but I’m an expert now.”

One in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

Older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men are more at risk.

“Who knows those stats?” said John, 62. “It’s that ignorance we want to stop.”

The couple hope the public will help by bringing in 100 crocheted, knitted or donated bears before August 30 that they can sell or auction for the charity.

They are also planning to raffle off a limited edition silver tag teddy bear at the shop on September 19.

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