Mick now running hard for a cure
EACH year, the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival supports local charities and organisations.
This year, it will support the prostate department of North Coast Cancer Institute, a cause dear to the heart of event director Mick Maley.
Mick knows what it's like to be given a diagnosis of prostate cancer and feels passionately about raising awareness of the disease.
"If we can save just one life by spreading the word, then we've made a difference," he said.
"With the festival held on Father's Day, it's a timely reminder for fathers and grandfathers to get their prostates checked."
At age 58, Mick went along for his regular GP check-up and his blood test indicated raised PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) levels.
"We kept an eye on things and 12 months later after further blood tests and biopsies, it was confirmed I had an unwelcome visitor," Mick recalled.
"There were no symptoms whatsoever and the first reaction was to be fearful and overwhelmed.
"I was suddenly in unchartered waters with plenty of questions."
Mick says his doctors were fantastic and after consultations with his GP and surgeon, it was agreed that he would have an operation to remove his prostate.
Fortunately no radiation or chemotherapy was required as his cancer had been detected early and had not spread.
"Everyone's experience is different and early detection means surgery is often not required and treatment is very straightforward.
"For anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer, seek advice and to listen to their doctors."
He owes much of his recovery to the love and support of the family, particularly wife Wendy.
"Support from your family is priceless.
"It's important to talk about it and involve those close to you, as you'll need their love and support during the treatment and recovery process.
"Remember you're not alone and there are so many support groups out there if you need them.
"I urge anyone who has been affected by cancer or had a loved one receive a cancer diagnosis, to come out and support the event on September 6."
The Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival will hold 3km, 5km and 10km runs, as well as a half-marathon event.
The festival is proud to support several local charities such as Life Education, Coffs Coast Autism, Camp Quality, the Early Childhood Intervention Program and now, the prostate department of the North Coast Cancer Institute.
For more information or to enter, visit http://www.villagesports.com.au