been nearly a year since I lost my dad. 6pm, Monday 17 September
2012. I'd tried to prepare for months for that moment but you
can't. He'd just celebrated his 54th birthday.
It took me a couple of months after he died before I realised
that I wanted to do something more to spread the word. Dad didn't
know anything about prostate cancer and there are lots of people
I'd already done a 250 mile bike ride for Prostate Cancer UK
before he died but after looking at the website I found that I
could volunteer too. I spoke to Jennifer (Jennifer Todd, Volunteer
Support Officer for the North of England) and she chatted to me
about the different things I could do. It was at that point I
decided I really wanted to be a speaker volunteer and talk to
others about prostate cancer.
When I went to the training in Manchester it was the first time
I'd really spoken to a group about what had happened.
My dad had been diagnosed in March 2011. He'd had lower back
pain but had always put off doing anything about it. Originally
doctors thought it might be bowel cancer but after various tests it
was discovered he had prostate cancer and that it had spread.
When you first hear the word cancer you think, 'he's going to
die isn't he?' I didn't find out he had prostate cancer for four
months after he'd been diagnosed. I had my GCSE's coming up and my
mum and dad didn't want to distract me from them.
He had chemotherapy and radiotherapy that year but in November
2011 the doctors told us the treatment wasn't working. On Friday 14
September I was over at a mate's house when I got the call 'come
home it's your dad'. On Monday he passed away at home.
It was hard telling people at the volunteer training about it
but I managed to hold it together. We each shared our stories and I
heard all these different people and different approaches and it
did make me think, 'I wish dad had done that,' as he died but they
lived. It just really hit home listening to them.
After being trained I had a call from Jennifer about doing my
first talk. It was at an African Caribbean church. I was quite
confident but at the same time a bit nervous and apprehensive. How
will they perceive me? I did my talk, explained why I'm doing it,
told them my story and it went well. They even asked me questions
at the end. They especially wanted to know more about the fact that
African Caribbean men are three times* more likely to be diagnosed
with prostate cancer.
I did really enjoy it though and I'm looking forward to doing
more talks and more fundraising. I'm thinking about doing a 10k run
in Manchester next year and also bucket shaking at some Football
I'm hoping to join the army soon so I'd like to spread the word
to them. If I can do a talk and someone goes to their doctor then
that's amazing. I just want to help people and raise
*Things have changed since this was published. Find