Last Valentine's Day, Janet Daykin told us about a short but extraordinary walk for a romantic meal with her late husband, which meant so much to them before he died of advanced prostate cancer. She explains why she now wants to do another emotionally-charged walk with her son and daughter-in-law on our March for Men in June.
It was seven years ago today that Mike courageously walked his wife, Janet, to the hotel restaurant at the end of their road for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal.
Having had spinal surgery and treatment for advanced prostate cancer, 63-year-old Mike had extra physio sessions and trained hard so he could forgo his wheelchair and walk the short distance for their last special meal together. Just weeks later, Mike died.
“It might not seem like much, but it’s these precious moments we shared together that will stay with me forever,” says Janet. “I do remember Valentine’s Day fondly now, but in the early years it was a very painful time.”
Now Janet is planning to undertake another personally significant walk to stop other men dying from prostate cancer. Together with her 36-year-old son and his wife, she’s signed up to do the Leeds March for Men on 18 June, walking around the beautiful Roundhay Park with hundreds of others to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Taking part on behalf of Mike is a way of making the most of a tragic situation – that way it feels like he didn’t die in vain,” says Janet. “I want the money we raise to go towards research that will help understand different types of prostate cancer and how to treat them.”
The event will – in every sense – be a walk in the park for the 62-year-old, who does at least 10,000 steps a day and is a member of several local walking groups in her home town of Bingley, West Yorkshire.
When Mike was diagnosed, I found walking helped me relax and deal with the stress
“I’ll often walk to a nearby town, which about 8 miles there and back,” says Janet. “When Mike was diagnosed, I found walking helped me relax and deal with the stress of his diagnosis, and helped me to think.
“After a previous health problem of my own, my GP told me to build walking into my daily life as it was the best type of exercise. I am so pleased she did as I enjoy it so much.”
When asked what Mike would think about her doing the March, Janet says: “He’d probably say, ‘what are you poking your nose into now?’, as he always joked about me poking my nose into things.
“But then afterwards, I imagine he’d turn to my son and say, ‘I’m really proud of your mother’.”
Join Janet and hundreds of others on a March for Men this year and help us stop prostate cancer being a killer.