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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Cancer support group marks milestone

A Hunter-based support group has celebrated two decades of helping men through their prostate cancer journeys.

Formed in 2000 by Jim Newton, who is still an active member 20 years on, the Hunter Prostate Cancer Support and Awareness Group has worked hard to create awareness and spread good will in the community since its inception.

“[The group is] doing a bloody great job, we are trying to encourage men to do something about their health,” Prostate Cancer Ambassador Gary Herrett said.

Proudly affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, excluding January.

Each meeting involves a guest speaker who can give them information about what they are facing and a catch up with members for support and guidance.

“Within the group there are people who have had different experiences with prostate cancer,” Gary said.

“Whether it’s radiation or surgery or hormones, it’s all part of it and they can identify somebody within the group that has had that type of treatment so they can relate with somebody directly.

“You can see the weight lift of their shoulders after talking to people who have been there.”

This year, COVID-19 put a stop to in person meetings but Zoom kept them all connected until they could meet again this month.

Acting Treasurer Mike Seddon says the group tries to help people through an illness that often comes as a shock.

“You can feel perfectly well and perfectly healthy, I was 62 at the time [I was diagnosed] and looking forward to retirement, and then suddenly it changes,” he said.

“I was thinking: ‘I haven’t got cancer, no way, my doctors wrong’, but then when you go and get your biopsy results it comes as a hell of a shock.”

The group urges anyone facing this type of cancer to join the group.

“It’s something simple you can do, and you don’t know what it will lead to,” Newsletter editor Brendon Young said.

“You won’t regret it because you can connect with people who have been through what you are facing.”

The group’s next meeting will be hosted on Tuesday 8 December at 11.45am at Wallsend Diggers.

Go to the group’s website or call Brendon on 0437 403 651 or Mike on 0419 599 230 for more information.