02 September 2021
“They say there are a few defining moments that change your life forever – getting a call from my dad telling me he had prostate cancer was one of them.”
This month for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Barcaldine resident, Madeline Jones, is lacing up to fight back against the disease that takes too much.
She’s taking part in The Long Run – an initiative of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia – which encourages people to run, walk or wheel 72km throughout September (Prostate Cancer Awareness Month) and raise funds for the men they love.
Madeline’s dad, Steven, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2020 at just 53 years of age.
“I remember feeling numb when I got the call from my dad,” she said.
“I never expected this to happen to my father and especially at 53 years old. It makes me wonder how many other fathers, husbands, brothers and men in our lives are walking around with this disease, just like my dad was.
“It scares me to think it crept up on my family as it did, and it could happen to anyone. Which is why taking part in The Long Run and raising awareness about early detection is so important to me.
“My dad wasn’t diagnosed until it had already spread – but hopefully other men can catch it earlier.”
While her dad is doing well at the moment, she knows it could be a long road ahead for their family.
This year Madeline is hoping to raise another $8,500 for the cause, after she raised $8,500 in 2020.
“You never think cancer is going to happen to you, or someone you love until one day it does,” she said.
“I knew I had to set out again this year to raise as much as possible, for a disease that silently creeps up on the men we love. I feel like if one girl in an outback town can raise $8,500, then anyone can.
“This year, I’ll be thinking of my dad every single step of the way.”
People can donate to Madeline at thelongrun.org.au/fundraisers/madelinejones.
New participants and teams can also register in one easy step via thelongrun.org.au.
PCFA CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO urged men and their loved ones to come together for the long run.
“Many families in the local community are facing prostate cancer right now and will need special care and support,” he said.
“This year’s campaign, with the theme ‘Together for the long run’, aims to show our solidarity and raise vital funds so that men have access to life-saving support.
“Without community involvement in campaigns such as The Long Run, we simply will not be able to meet the growing demand for PCFA services and programs.
“We would love to see the community come together for The Long Run in 2021 and help love go the distance.”
More than 3,000 people are expected to join The Long Run campaign this year in the hope of raising $1.6 million for prostate cancer research and specialist nurses.
If you or someone you know needs the care of a PCFA Specialist Nurse, please call 1800 22 00 99.
PCFA media contact: Laura McKoy | M. 0435 094 788