Raising awareness and teaching others about their risk

Since losing her dad to prostate cancer in 2015, Nichola has been doing everything she can to raise awareness within her community

In 2013, aged 63, Nichola’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

'He had other ailments including arthritis, but my dad was never one to complain. He didn’t have any symptoms, apart from some urinating problems, which eventually sparked him to go to the doctors.'

Nichola’s father was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. By the time he found out, the cancer had metastasized to his bones and lymph nodes. He went on to have hormone treatment and 3 rounds of chemotherapy. He also had radiotherapy but by this time his prostate cancer was castrate-resistant. He sadly passed away in 2015.

'In the last six months he was in so much pain. I’ve never seen anyone hurt so much, it was agonising. This was someone who never complained, who worked as a courier with arthritis in his wrists and so to see him admitting he was in pain, I couldn’t imagine what it was like.'

The statistics for men, but especially black men, are shocking.

Nichola is now doing everything to spread the word about prostate cancer and raise awareness within her community. She is especially aware that her son is now at a heightened risk of the disease.

'My son is very aware of what happened to his grandfather. He plays basketball and every time he scores he says it is for his grandfather. The statistics for men, but especially black men are shocking. I just think my father, my brother, my nephew and my son, one in four of them have had it. And now between the three of them, their risk is even higher because of genetics but also because they are black.'

Since her father’s death, Nichola feels her outlook on life has changed massively.

'It’s made me much more relaxed about things and to make the most of time with the family. It has also made me aware of my health and to be fitter.'

Nichola is hoping that through encouraging others to take part in the London March for Men, she is encouraging people to take notice of prostate cancer, especially if it isn’t on their radar.

'I just want as many people as possible to take notice of this disease. Whether this is men directly or through women who are speaking to men, we need to understand that prostate cancer isn’t just something old men get and die of.

'One of the hardest things is that prostate cancer can be managed, it can be treated, if it caught on time and people are aware. I often wonder when Dad would have gone if he had been more aware of his risk.

'I’m Marching for Men as part of Dad’s legacy. To let him know I’m putting the word out there and helping others who might not know their risk.'