Dad inspires charity fundraising efforts
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