When Jerry was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, his colleagues at TK Maxx leapt to support him through his recovery and last year took on three March for Men events in Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham.
“Being told I had cancer was terrifying, especially being a single parent to my son Tom.”
For Jerry Proffitt, a diagnosis of prostate cancer came as a huge shock after going to see the doctor after suffering from tiredness and nausea.
An examination revealed very high blood pressure, but further tests also led to a diagnosis of prostate cancer. “I had blood tests and a DRE [digital rectal examination] followed by biopsies and, the rest, I guess is history,” he says.
Being a single dad, his first thoughts were of his son, who was only 17 at the time.
Jerry was diagnosed in August 2017 and had surgery to remove his prostate a month later. Before his operation, he talked to Tom about his finances, his Will and the prospect of what could happen if Jerry were to die – some of the most difficult conversations ever.
After the surgery, Jerry spent about four months recovering at home in Grantham before returning to his job at TK Maxx.
The fantastic support he received from colleagues during this time played a huge part in his recovery. The telephone calls, messages of support, visits and presents were very much appreciated and lifted his spirits exactly at a time when they needed lifting.
So when he came across our March for Men events the year after his diagnosis, he rallied together his family and colleagues from across the Midlands and Wales to take part in not one, not two, but three marches.
The marches bring together people from all walks of life to recognise the impact of prostate cancer and help to raise money for our lifesaving research and support.
The team from TK Maxx completed the Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham marches over June last year. They raised an incredible £2,500 and are planning to raise even more this year.
Afterwards, Jerry spoke of the incredible atmosphere at the marches: “There is a real sense of camaraderie and support for the charity, as well as it being a time to remember and celebrate the men who have sadly lost their lives to the disease. Prostate cancer affects so many men and their families and I encourage as many people to sign up, come along and take part.”