Former Dundee United striker Jordan Moore who battled skin cancer twice has been chosen to launch Stand up to Cancer in Scotland.
Jordan, 22, knows only too well that new discoveries and breakthroughs are crucial in helping people like him survive.
He saw a stellar football cut short by cancer after a rapidly growing mole on the right side of his face turned out to be cancerous.
Jordan was just 19 and had netted eight goals in ten starts while on loan at Dunfermline when the diagnosis of melanoma on January 20, 2014, put at risk everything he’d worked towards. He endured two operations, including 12 hours of surgery in May 2014, at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow where 80 lymph nodes were removed.
Nerves were severed on one side of his face and Jordan was left with a scar on his neck.
Now clear of cancer, Jordan who had loan spells playing football with Airdrie, Dunfermline and Queen’s Park, signed for League of Ireland side Limerick in February this year.
But he finally returned home to Scotland in May and has taken the heartbreaking decision to hang up his professional football boots and pursue a new career, possibly as a police officer.
And he’s calling on youngsters to be aware of the amount of time they spend in the sun.
Jordan said: “I’m so proud to support Stand Up To Cancer and I want to encourage as many people as possible to join me and stand up to this devastating disease.
“Football has been my whole life so moving on from that now is incredibly tough. I went straight up to Dundee to train full time aged 16 as soon as I left school. I loved my time in Dundee. It’s a brilliant city to live in. I trained every day, even on Christmas Day and I’ve never had to think about another job until now. But there is so much more out there that I can do. I want to go down the road of helping people instead of concentrating just on football. When I was first told I had skin cancer, the doctor asked me if I was always out in the sun or using sunbeds. I’ve never used sunbeds but I grew up playing football outside every day wearing no sun screen so my skin must have been exposed to the sun all those years. That’s why I now believe it’s vital when kids are out training on football pitches to make sure they’re wearing sun cream to protect their skin.”
Stand Up To Cancer is a joint campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, urging all Scots to show their support and join the rebellion against cancer. Money raised funds translational research, which takes developments in the lab and transforms them into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients.
Stand Up To Cancer, which is supported by a host of celebrities including Davina McCall and Alan Carr, culminates on Friday October 21 with a night of live TV on Channel 4 led by the brightest stars in film, TV and music.
Jordan’s parents Gordon and Angela Moore has been there for him every step of the way. They recall vividly the moment when Jordan who had dreamt of becoming a professional footballer since he was old enough to kick a ball was first told he had cancer.
Angela, 48, of Bishopbriggs in East Dunbartonshire, said: “Your whole world just falls apart when you get told that your son has cancer.
“I was in the hospital room with Jordan when he was told. When the doctor gives you a big cuddle before giving you news you think, what’s this? We had just never expected it. If I could, I’d have taken it all on myself instead of watching my son go through it. It was incredibly hard for a young lad, just horrendous for him.
“Football had been Jordan’s love and passion since he was a wee boy. He had sacrificed so much. It felt so unfair that cancer threatened to take all of this away but Jordan never complained. It has been difficult as I’ve tried to put on a brave face for Jordan but the way Jordan has handled it all is nothing short of inspirational. Jordan still goes running at least 10K every day with his dad. I’m so proud of how strong Jordan has stayed, of how committed he has been right from the start.”
Jordan has worked tirelessly to help others going through cancer, even speaking eloquently about his cancer fight during a fundraising dinner in Dundee which raised more than £40,000 and was presented by TV star Lorraine Kelly who is a Dundee United fan. He received messages of support from football legend Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand. Jordan who received a special merit award by PFA Scotland has wise words for any Scot going through cancer today.
Jordan said: “Do whatever is right for you. Cry if you want to. Laugh if you feel happy. Don’t listen to anybody who says you have to be a certain way. I’ve had brilliant support from my pals in the football world and my family. Before my second operation the then Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara fixed it for me to go to Prague with friends for a holiday. Jackie has done amazing things for me. I loved every moment of that time in Prague and it was a laugh a second. It helped me realise how important it is to try not to get too down about cancer and to grab every chance you can to enjoy life.”
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland said: “We’d like to thank Jordan and his mum Angela for standing up to cancer with us.
“Jordan and his mum’s experience brings home the fact that one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Whether it’s you or someone you know, it leaves its mark on us all so the time to act is now. We’re on the brink of a revolution in cancer research. Thanks to new treatments, screening and earlier diagnosis, more people are surviving the disease than ever before. But we can’t afford to stand still. It’s time to rebel against cancer, raise money and save lives. Research is our weapon against this terrible disease and we’re calling on an army of supporters across Scotland to stand up to cancer and show their support.”
Scots can also show their support for the campaign in style as a fun range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children is available online at standuptocancer.org.uk