Dad in­spires char­ity fundrais­ing ef­forts

West Lothian Courier - - News - Deb­bie Hall

A month- long se­ries of char­ity chal­lenges to raise aware­ness of prostate cancer in younger men will cul­mi­nate this week­end with a mu­si­cal cel­e­bra­tion.

Robyn Kemp­ton and her part­ner Jonathan Ward or­gan­ised sev­eral dar­ing deeds through­out Oc­to­ber af­ter Robyn’s dad Jimmy was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease.

The pair have been rais­ing money for the de­part­ment of On­col­ogy and Urol­ogy at the West­ern Hos­pi­tal in Ed­in­burgh and Prostate Cancer UK as well as rais­ing aware­ness of how the dis­ease can strike in younger men.

Jimmy was just 49 when he was told he had later stage prostate cancer be­fore re­ceiv­ing the dev­as­tat­ing news the dis­ease had spread to his blad­der.

He has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at the West­ern Gen­eral and his daugh­ter said she wanted to thank the staff for the ex­cep­tional care he has re­ceived.

Over the past few weeks Robyn and Jonathan have raised £5500 and hope to break the £6000 mark at a gig this week­end at Pur­ple Or­ange in Bath­gate.

To raise the money the pair have al­ready taken part in a bungee jump, a bungee swing, Sober for Oc­to­ber, the Kilt Walk and the ‘100 over 31’ where they both ran 100 miles through­out the month of Oc­to­ber.

The fi­nal fundraiser is a cel­e­bra­tion night this Satur­day fea­tur­ing lo­cal mu­si­cians John Ward, Luke Gib­son and Billy Mitchell. En­try is by do­na­tion and doors open at 7.30pm.

Robyn said that in the UK, prostate cancer is the most com­mon cancer in men yet six out of 10 cases in Scot­land are di­ag­nosed at a late stage.

And while more than half of the cases in the UK are in men over 70, more aware­ness is needed that this type of cancer af­fects men younger than 70.

She con­tin­ued: “In March this year, my dad was di­ag­nosed with later stage prostate cancer at the age of 49. As if the ini­tial news wasn’t heart­break­ing enough, we went through months of wait­ing on ap­point­ments with on­col­o­gists and sur­geons, wait­ing on scans and fol­low-up meet­ings, even­tu­ally in May we got the news that an op­er­a­tion was re­quired. Dur­ing the op to re­move the prostate in June we were given the dev­as­tat­ing news that the ill­ness had al­ready spread to the blad­der. The de­lay be­tween ini­tially dis­cov­er­ing the ill­ness, re­ceiv­ing ad­vice, go­ing through scans and even­tu­ally hav­ing the op means my dad now has to face an en­tire new gru­elling treat­ment plan in­clud­ing months of chemo, ra­dio and hor­mone ther­apy.This has been made all the more dif­fi­cult given my dad has al­ways been self em­ployed, we’re only now dis­cov­er­ing the lack of fi­nan­cial sup­port pro­vided to the self-em­ployed when they are un­able to work due to long-term ill­ness.”

Robyn con­tin­ued: “The staff at the De­part­ment of On­col­ogy and Urol­ogy at the West­ern Gen­eral have been truly in­cred­i­ble, es­pe­cially given the test­ing times, they have pro­vided end­less sup­port while be­ing over­worked and un­der­staffed and we want to show them that we recog­nise their hard work and stand with them by rais­ing money to help them out with de­part­ment fund­ing.

“It’s not just about re­act­ing to the news if it comes, al­most all of this stress and heartache could have been pre­vented if more reg­u­lar checks are car­ried out and en­cour­aged and if more peo­ple are aware of the symp­toms and what to look out for.

“This is where Prostate Cancer UK comes in, we want to sup­port Prostate Cancer UK in their mis­sion to raise aware­ness and help young men iden­tify and get help with these symp­toms be­fore its too late.” For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. just­giv­ing. com/ crowd­fund­ing/robyn-kemp­ton.

We want to sup­port Prostate Cancer UK in their mis­sion

In­spi­ra­tion Jimmy Kemp­ton

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