Gavin Haywood speaks to LetsGetChecked on the importance of regular cancer screening following the passing of his best friend and business partner Mark Gavin.

Gavin was with Mark when he found out he had colon cancer. Following his diagnosis, Gavin got screened with LetsGetChecked.

In commemoration of Mark, LetsGetChecked donated £1000 to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, a charity that seeks to raise awareness for Men’s Health.

This November, LetsGetChecked tells Mark and Gavin’s story to highlight the importance of regular cancer screening.

Bowel cancer is one of the UK’s most common causes of cancer-related deaths.

But regular screenings can help detect it earlier, making it easier to treat and protecting your health.

“I think awareness is rising but men are worried that they would appear weak.” says Gavin. “I got tested because of multiple friends and relative's experience with cancer. Nobody is aware that testing on a private level is available at reasonable cost.”

“Go get yourself checked and tell your mates to get checked too.” is Gavin’s message this Movember.

Gavin’s story

It was 10 year ago that our friendship truly began, we both had a shared passion for motorbikes and the freedom that they gave us.

Mark was a very rare individual and he was immensely generous to all of his friends. I went to the hospital when he had his diagnosis.

Mark knew what was coming when the doctor asked him whether he knew what was wrong with him.

He just came straight out and said “I suspect I have colon cancer.”

I got tested right after Mark had his diagnosis. My test came back negative. With 50% of the population having some form of cancer, it’s madness not to get tested now.

When Mark was very ill, he decided the best thing to do was go out and buy a top of the range motorcycle, the ducati.

Many of us questioned why he was buying a motorbike like that in full knowledge that he was never going to ride it.

He said, “What do you think about the bike?” I said, “Well, the bike is amazing.” He said “Good, because it’s yours.”

I wasn’t really expecting that to be honest. Five days later, he died.

Mark’s death has really focused my attention on the most important things in my life, my family, my children, my wife and my health. That really is it. There is nothing else.

I miss him very much.

In 2018, Mark and his friends rode at the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise awareness for men’s health. In 2019, his friends took part again in Mark’s memory.

Written by Hannah Kingston