29 November 2013

Everyone has a story. Mo Sista Amy Voce shares hers about her father.

Mo Sista Story

Mo Sista Amy Voce

“I was 26 when I was hit by the bombshell that my Dad had Prostate cancer. He had an odd ache in his shoulder for months and it was only from our nagging that he eventually went to see the Doctor. My Dad had just turned 60, and was very fit & healthy; he was a pilot, he never drank or smoked and had never suffered bad health, so we thought nothing of it. We were left completely shell shocked when the results came back with a shadow on his lung, which turned out to be Prostate Cancer. On that very day he was told it was advanced, aggressive & terminal and he was given two years left to live."

“That two year life sentence was tough to get our heads around, but we remained hopeful and positive throughout and Dad was always game to try whichever new treatment they wanted to trial on patients. Heartbreakingly Dad’s flying licence had to be revoked so he had to stop work immediately - pretty difficult for a man who worked solidly throughout his entire life, who I rarely ever saw relax. So this was another obstacle he suddenly faced. Luckily he managed to retain a partial licence so we encouraged him to cash in savings and buy a small two seater plane and enjoy his favourite passion as much as he could."

"Dad was so defiant in all he did. When he was in hospital and we were told there was nothing more they could do, we were told Dad had just 24 hours to live. He was still with us four days later! The whole family, all four of his children never left his bedside, camping out in the hospital room. As heartbreaking and tragic as it was, we sat around sharing stories of his life, laughing and crying. It was bittersweet. Dad died February 26th, 2009 peacefully surrounded by his family."

"The one thing I was amazed at when Dad was diagnosed was the lack of coverage Prostate and male cancers had, especially when I realised how common they were. All I wanted to do was help and shout it from the rooftops! With the help of my breakfast radio show I put together a charity calendar including professional sportsmen from the area as well as local guys who wanted to show their support. We managed to get over 100 men to pose naked on Donington Race Circuit in November. It was most memorable! I raised over £20,000 for Prostate Cancer charities, which I was delighted about but what really meant the most to me was a letter I received from a man a month after the campaign. He had a health problem niggling him and the campaign had encouraged him to get it checked out at the Doctors. It turned out he had Prostate Cancer. Luckily they’d caught it early and he was successfully treated. It meant so much to me that the awareness had made that difference, even if it was for one guy. It felt like a start. Movember wasn’t prominent when my Dad was ill and I wish it had been. The awareness and support it offers is already making a significant difference and hopefully will continue to encourage men and women to be more aware of their health. Keep the Mo’s going!"

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