Kieran Drinkwater initially dismissed his mum’s concerns during a virtual get together in lockdown
A mum from Blackpool flagged up an unusual mole on her son’s head during a virtual family get together which turned out to be cancerous.
Kieran Drinkwater, 34, regularly met up with his parents, who live in the seaside town, virtually for weekly quiz nights during lockdown.
The civil servant, who lives with his wife Emma and their two children, assured his mum the mole had always been there.
But despite initially dismissing his mum’s remarks, Kieran is now grateful she “planted a seed of doubt” in his mind.
He said: “My mum just made a very innocent comment – something like, ‘What’s that on your head?’
“She was talking about a mole on my temple and I just replied that I’d had it for years, and she said, ‘I’ve never noticed it before.”
He added: “Then, I was looking in the mirror in February 2021 and I realised it looked a little bigger.
“So, I went and looked at an old photograph and it was literally just a spec back then, so I realised I needed to get it seen.”
First, looking on the NHS website, he found a mole checklist and realised he had all the worrying signs, the Manchester Evening News reports.
He said: “Mine had changed colour, was over six millimetres in size and had a jagged edge – all indicators that something was wrong.”
He added: “So I rang my GP and, despite Covid restricting face-to-face appointments, he called me back within hours asking for photos of the mole.
“I was referred through the NHS to have it removed, but I didn’t want to wait, as I had read that if it is cancer even weeks could make a difference.
“Fortunately, I was able to pay to go privately, so I had it removed four weeks later.”
Four week after his operation in April 2021, Kieran was informed that the mole was indeed cancerous – he was called in for more surgery.
Despite being told he had melanoma, Kieran was grateful that it had been caught early.
Wanting to raise money for research into the deadly disease, he turned to TikTok for inspiration.
A trend on the site shows people ‘trading up’ where people start with a paper clip and by continually trading upwards for items of larger value, can end up with a house.
Kieran, who lives in Northern Ireland, has set a personal goal of starting with a button and finishing with a £1.2 million Bugatti sports car.
“I really wanted to raise money to help others with cancer,” he said.
“I had seen this influencer doing a trade up on TikTok and thought it would be interesting to do. So I thought hard about what item I wanted to achieve.
“I love cars and I always wanted a Bugatti, which cost over £1 million.”
He added: “So, I launched the Button 2 Bugatti challenge and if I get there, I will sell it and, hopefully, raise £1 million for Stand Up To Cancer.”
Thus far, his button has netted him a pizza oven, a brand new Smeg espresso machine, a Le Creuset espresso set and a massive wall clock.
Kieran is also keen to stress that anyone who is concerned about changes to their skin should contact a doctor as soon as possible.
“I know people are nervous to go to the GP because of Covid,” he said.
“But if you’re in doubt, if a mole has changed, I would advise to first check the NHS website and use their guide and to see your GP.”
To donate and trade go to www.button2bugatti.com.
The ABCDE NHS mole check:
- Asymmetrical – melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.
- Border – they usually have a notched or ragged border.
- Colours – melanomas will usually be a mix of two or more colours.
- Diameter – most melanomas are usually larger than six millimetres in diameter.
- Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.