August is RULE Prostate Cancer’s National Legends Month, and over 200 Victorian venues are fundraising for the charity.
RULE Prostate Cancer, formed by the E.J. Whitten Foundation and the Australian Prostate Centre, provides support to patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and their families.
As part of the National Legends Month fundraising, participating venues will be selling RULE bucket hats, and a raffle will be held in which entrants have the chance to win and Isuzu Ute and $10k worth of Tool Kit Depot tools.
Ray Sharawara of Magpie and Stump Hotel in Wandong is a survivor of prostate cancer, and hopes that the fundraising campaign can encourage regular testing, It was through regular testing of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels that Sharawara was diagnosed with prostate cancer and ultimately had surgery to remove the cancer.
“The consequences for me were that I was actively involved in trying to save the hotel industry during the lockdown. It was not easy, it was difficult. I had surgery in late 2020, with lot of tests that had to be done,” Sharawara explained.
Sharawara said that fear was a significant barrier in his cancer journey.
“Fear factor – you just gotta get over that. I’m 72 by the way, I was diagnosed when I was 69. Apart from that, I played football and had many procedures done, broken everything in my body. They’re not life-threatening,” he commented,
“My father was Ukrainian, he never spoke to me about any of this stuff. I don’t know if they even knew about it back then. That’s why I encourage people to have conversation with their families that are outside of the country too. I only found out about it after he died. He didn’t do anything about it, but we can!” he added.
Mel Aldred, owner of Teller in Brunswick East, is married to Chris, who is a prostate cancer survivor. She highlighted the importance of counselling services provided by charities like RULE Prostate Cancer in supporting both patients and their families.
“To be honest, back then I did not know about the counselling services that are provided by charities like RULE. You get so busy with the treatments that you forget to take care of yourself. I believe these services are essential for families that need support along the way,” said Alred.
Aldred believes that the hospitality industry is well positioned for community fundraising. “Pubs serve as platforms for open discussions, enabling patrons to share their stories and create a supportive environment,” Aldred concluded