Castletown Golf Links Team grows mos for their bros
Having been a part of our great Golf Club now for some 8 years, I’ve had the good fortune to come to know many of you quite well and forge strong relationships that extend way beyond just golf.
The current landscape of golf, certainly in the UK at least, means that the bulk of our membership are males and unfortunately a large percentage of such are the wrong side of 50! Age brings many benefits but rarely with our bodies and in the past two or three years especially, I have been acutely aware of an escalation of male members being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Whilst the journey through treatment & convalescence must have been difficult, thankfully in the majority of cases, those affected have made a full recovery. Steve Keegan however was not so fortunate and very sadly he was taken from us much too early at the beginning of this year.
Bringing it even closer to home, one of our team here at the Club, Colin Townsend has also had to overcome adversity in recent years. Colin tells his own story below:
In June 2013 I visited the Isle of Man for the first time in order to take part in the annual Parish Walk. After a gruelling 21 and half hours on the road I was thrilled to cross the finish line at the War memorial on the Douglas promenade. In my mid-fifties I felt an incredible sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Back in South Africa a few months later I underwent my annual executive medical and was given a clean bill of health. Unfortunately, or fortunately, our family doctor had received my report from the other doctor and noticed something that she was not happy with.
By Christmas that year I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. At the end of January 2014, I underwent a radical prostatectomy (pre-Robotic surgery) which left me with a couple of serious challenges and changed my life forever.
But there is good news. There is a lot you can do. Just by knowing some important facts about the risk and knowing when to take action. Just remember – early detection is key. That means understanding your risk of prostate cancer and when to start the conversation with your doctor – take action and do not hesitate. A personal challenge from me to you is have yourself tested regularly. This is usually in the form of a simple PSA blood test.
Some useful facts:
- Prostate cancer is not limited to the older generation, so if you are 50 or older, start talking to your doctor about your risk
- The genes from our parents and other relatives play a part in prostate cancer risk. Your risk is higher if there is a father, brother or uncle who had prostate cancer. It is also higher if there is a mother or sister who had breast or ovarian cancer. So, if there is a family history like this, it is worth talking to your doctor from an earlier age
- Often, early prostate cancer causes no issues or symptoms – so it is important to check with your doctor even if you are feeling well. In many cases, prostate cancer grows slowly, and many men don’t notice any signs at all. This was my experience as well – the first weekend in December 2013 I partook in a 100km walking race and had a great race and good finish and felt incredibly well and alive. I saw the urologist and underwent a biopsy early the next week and my world was then about to be turned upside down when I received my diagnosis
- Approximately 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
I have no doubt that at our Golf Club there are many of you who can relate to my story.
You may be aware of the annual Movember campaign and we, as a Club, would like to encourage you to take part in it, join us and grow a moustache (regular or even one of the more exotic shapes and sizes). If you are taking part, we would also love it if you could share a photo or two with us.
You can take a look at our fundraising page and consider sponsoring our facial hair efforts by clicking on the link here –
We will also place a collection point in the Pro Shop should you wish to make a cash donation to the Movember campaign.
In conclusion, there is life after prostate cancer. 17-months after my operation I went on to compete in the 2015 Parish Walk and recorded my best time for the race to date and also summited Kilimanjaro in 2016 and again in 2019. Unfortunately, even though I have enjoyed some success with the aforementioned, my golf overall has not improved but at least I have time on my side to work on my game .
Join us in growing a moustache this Movember and please, please do consider getting yourself checked regularly Men.
Colin, PJ & Andi.