03 September 2021
This September for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Townsville local Katie Grice is lacing up to show her support for all men – including her dad – who have been diagnosed with the disease.
She’s taking part in The Long Run, a Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia initiative which encourages people to run, walk or wheel 72km throughout September (Prostate Cancer Awareness Month) and raise funds for the men they love.
Katie’s dad, Tony, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July last year at age 65 and is currently going through his second round of chemotherapy.
Watching her dad navigate a diagnosis has spurred her on to run the distance and raise funds to help ensure other families don’t have to go through the same thing.
“Watching anyone, let alone a parent or family member, go through cancer treatment is really difficult. There has been so much fluctuation, hospitalisation, fatigue and just general change,” she said.
“It really is an emotional rollercoaster. It highlights that you need to take every day as it comes, find joy in the small moments, and just generally enjoy time you spend together with loved ones.”
Katie said she didn’t know much about prostate cancer when her dad was first diagnosed, but when she found out 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, she was shocked.
“I was surprised when I found out the statistics. Since dad's diagnosis, I've opened up and shared about his diagnosis and when you get talking, you begin to realise that so many people are affected,” she said.
“There is a little comfort in knowing that we are definitely not alone with this experience.”
Katie said she’s looking forward to pushing herself throughout the challenge – and has decided to not just walk or run 72km, but increase her goal to 100km.
“I love getting outdoors for a walk or hike - which is something that dad and I have always enjoyed together,” she said.
“I'm also looking forward to raising more awareness in the community. This is not an easy thing to go through. If more people, and more specifically men, are aware of the prevalence of prostate cancer and are more encouraged to get tested frequently, it will increase their chance of beating the disease.”
Locals can show their support and help Katie hit her fundraising goal by donating at thelongrun.org.au/fundraisers/katiegrice
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