Our new Walk for Men events over the Father’s Day will bring hundreds of families together in Oda in the eastern region to walk in support of those affected by prostate cancer. We speak to some of them about the dads they’ll be walking alongside or in memory of, and their hopes that the money and awareness raised can help defeat the most common cancer in men.
Gemma Oaten: “My heart breaks for any family getting the news”
Gemma’s dad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer six years ago.
“The prostate cancer bit I could kind of compute. But it was when they said it was stage-three aggressive, that was when it really hit me. Because that’s the moment you have to ask your parents, ‘is my dad going to die?’
“Even though it was six years ago, it still feels like yesterday. My heart breaks for any family getting that news, whatever form of cancer it is. I know lots of families aren’t so lucky.
“I’d like everyone in Leeds to come march together with us on Sunday 18 June and support their loved ones, who might be going through it, and also equally to support their loved ones they might have lost.”
Paula’s dad didn’t want to worry her by telling her he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“I didn’t find out about dad’s prostate cancer until about a year or so after he was diagnosed, as he didn’t want to worry me and my brother.
“In March 2013, dad took himself to hospital for a week as there was something wrong with his potassium levels. When I went to visit him, he told me about his prostate cancer. At that point I thought dad was on the road to recovery.
“Then in June, I went away on holiday. While I was away, dad was experiencing problems with his colostomy bag and had to go to hospital again – but he didn’t tell me that he was there. Just a few days after a consultant said that the cancer had progressed and he only had a few months left, dad passed away.
“Dad would be really proud of me for taking part in the Leeds March for Men – it would be something he would have done. He’ll be up there looking down when we march on Father’s Day.
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu