No more close shaves for St Albans fundraiser joining in Decembeard

Phil Ahern, 60, who is joining the Decembeard campaign and growing a beard

Phil Ahern, 60, who is joining the Decembeard campaign and growing a beard - Credit: Archant

A bearded cancer-survivor from St Albans has ditched his razors and is going grizzly to help launch this year’s ‘Decembeard’ campaign to raise awareness and funds for the support group, Beating Bowel Cancer.

Phil Ahern, 60, featured in the photography exhibition entitled ‘Me, My Beard and Why’ in London last week, put on by the street photographer GarconJon, which tells the story of those who have been affected by Britain’s second biggest cancer killer.

After he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014, Phil relied on the charity for help. He said: “Cancer can really overwhelm you and the people around you.

Phil, who works as a sales manager, joined other Decembeard ambassadors, cancer patients, bearded models and celebrities at the campaign launch at Covent Garden last week.

He said: “I tried really hard to act on fact and not emotion. It’s really difficult but it was the only way for me. The three Fs got me through: family, friends and faith. You have to get on with life and that’s what I did.”

More than 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and Phil says that “if the campaign encourages just one person to go to their GP for a test, it could save a life.”

If diagnosed early enough, more than 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.

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For more information about bowel cancer of the Beating Bowel Cancer campaign, visit