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Unite and Shout for cancer fight

Thursday 15 May, 2014

As a survivor, carer and loved one, Steve Kelsall's life has been deeply affected by cancer.

The 45-year-old was diagnosed with sarcoma in June last year - just 16 months after losing his wife Anne to cancer.

Stevel Kelsall and family"Caring for Anne during her six-year cancer journey, and then being diagnosed myself, I know how devastating cancer can be," Steve says. "There aren't many of us in the community who aren't affected now, and it's uplifting to see strangers band together to fight this disease."

Steve will watch such a stand of strength from his living room on Friday night before the annual Call To Arms AFL match, which aims to raise funds and awareness for cancer in men.

Before Essendon Football Club takes on the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium, patrons will unite against cancer with a sea of yellow.

Fans will be invited to write the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer on a yellow A4 card provided. The crowd will be prompted to stand as one and hold up their cards as a sign of respect and solidarity.

"I expect the Call To Arms activation on Friday night to be emotional, but also empowering," Steve says.

"I have a 14-year-old daughter, Gemma, and I want her future to be cancer-free and bright."

Many football fans like Steve will be unable to join the Call To Arms by attending the match but there is still a way to be involved.

Those who can't attend on Friday night are encouraged to show their support by donating via the Shout App and sharing their donation on Twitter or Facebook.

Cancer Council Victoria spokesperson and ex-Hawthorn Football Club player Brett O'Farrell says he hopes those watching the game from their living room will answer the Call to Arms by Shouting.

"One in two Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. Anyone can take part in the match on Friday night by Shouting a $10 Daffodil for their father, brother, partner - or even a perfect stranger!

"Imagine the difference we could make if everyone watching the game at home Shouted just $10 to help fund prevention, research and support programs for men with cancer."

People who make a donation on the night are encouraged to personalise their message of support to someone they know who has been personally touched by the disease and to share it on social media.

People can donate to Cancer Council Victoria by downloading the Shout App free from the App Store or Google play.