Men, we are with you

Sutton Coldfield fundraiser stars in Prostate Cancer UK broadcast campaign.

The power of partnership has been highlighted in a new Prostate Cancer UK broadcast campaign starring David Hadley-Smith, from Sutton Coldfield, as part of a cast of charity supporters who all have been affected by the disease.

As part of the leading men’s health charity’s campaign, the stories of men and loved ones affected by prostate cancer and their relationships with their partners and families are being told via a number of adverts on radio station Planet Rock and through a host of short sports-based documentaries aired on Sky Sports.

The emotional campaign delves deeper into the role of support groups, including friends and family, on those diagnosed as well as the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for those affected by prostate cancer.

Among those to tell their story is Prostate Cancer UK ambassador and keen golfer, David. The 63-year-old was inspired to go on a fundraising and awareness drive following his diagnosis with prostate cancer in 2013. Since then, he has raised tens of thousands of pounds through his local golf club, Moor Park, and has encouraged more than 40 other men to speak to their GP about the disease, with 11 receiving a diagnosis themselves.

Following successful initial treatment, David was told his prostate cancer had returned in 2018.

As well as reflecting on life with prostate cancer in the broadcast, which is going out to Planet Rock’s 1.2 million weekly listeners, David pays an emotional tribute to his wife, Sandra, who has been by his side throughout his journey with the disease.

He said: “The importance of my wife during the long journey I’ve been on has been amazing. You go through all sorts of emotions; it’s a real rollercoaster that you’re on. She really has been my rock, she’s been with me every step of the way. She’s been a calming influence. You go through lots of emotions – ‘why me? How long have I got? Am I going to die? Can I beat this? Will I get through it?’

“Once things calm down a bit and you have time to digest it, you draw up a plan in your mind on how you’re going to get through it all with the support of your family and friends.

“I know in my heart that I wouldn’t have got through my journey with prostate cancer without her. We’ve been together since we were sixteen, we’ve been blessed with two sons, we’ve got two fabulous grandchildren and two fantastic daughter-in-laws and we’re looking forward to two new grandchildren. It’s been amazing that these things have been able to take my mind off my prostate cancer.”

As the impact of Covid-19 makes living with prostate cancer even more difficult, this campaign shows the power of partnership through tough times. Prostate Cancer UK – and its wider community – wants to highlight how the pandemic won’t stop them and their supporters joining the fight against the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.

Men over fifty, black men and men with a family history of the disease are at higher risk and the campaign specifically aims to reach those key demographics at risk.

Angela Culhane, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer; it’s now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, and the Coronavirus pandemic has made living with a diagnosis only harder.

“David’s story has shone a spotlight on the importance of partners, families and support networks of men with prostate cancer – especially during a difficult year. My husband’s father died of prostate cancer and was supported by his wife throughout his long journey with prostate cancer, so I have seen first-hand the importance of partners and the impact the disease has on them, too.

“We are extremely grateful to David and all our supporters who have shared their experience of the disease as part of this campaign.”