You don't know what's going to hit you

Paula's dad didn't want to worry her by telling her he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer

Paula didn’t find out about her dad’s prostate cancer until about a year or so after he was diagnosed.

He was being treated for the disease during that time and didn’t want to worry Paula and her brother. Her mum knew her dad was being treated for prostate cancer.

In March 2013, her dad took himself to hospital for a week as there was something wrong with his potassium levels. When Paula visited him in hospital, he told her about his prostate cancer.

At that point Paula thought her dad was 'on the road to recovery'. He was fitted with a colostomy bag which wasn’t nice but Paula said her dad was 'dealing with it'.

In June 2013 Paula went away on holiday. Whilst she was away, her dad was experiencing problems with his colostomy bag and had to go to hospital again. He didn’t tell Paula that he was in hospital.

On the following Thursday night, her dad’s leg had also swollen up. On Sunday night, Paula came back from her holiday expecting her dad to be at the airport; however, her brother was there instead.

The next Wednesday her dad was still in hospital and had an appointment with the consultant who said that the cancer had progressed and that Paula’s dad only had a few months left.

The following Sunday, Paula’s dad sadly passed away.

At the time of her dad’s passing, Paula was separating from her husband and knew that her dad wanted to help her through it. She also knew that he would miss his grandson growing up and 'doing things with mum'. Paula said that both of them were 'very active'.

Paula said that her dad’s passing made her family stronger and 'pulled them together as a family'. She said that the experience has also made her realise that you have to 'get to get on with life and live it to the full'. She also went on to say that 'you don’t know what’s going to hit you'.

Paula said that her dad had relatives who died of prostate cancer and that her brother will be checked out. He is 45 years old.

In September 2014, Paula climbed Ben Nevis for Prostate Cancer UK. Her mum is also from a close-knit community and has done a lot of fundraising as well.

You have to get to get on with life and live it to the full.

Since Ben Nevis, Paula has kept in contact with Community Fundraising Manager, Seren Evans, and visited Prostate Cancer UK office in December 2016. Seren mentioned the Leeds March for Men to Paula when she visited and Paula decided to take part. She is also hoping to get her brother, nephew and dogs involved. Additionally, she would like to spread the message to her work colleagues.

Paula said that she hopes the money raised from the Leeds March for Men 'goes towards finding a cure'. She also hopes that it makes people more aware of the disease.

Paula said that her dad would be proud of her taking part in the Leeds March for Men and that it 'would be something he would do'. She said that he would be 'up there looking down'.