Two sporting legends join the battle against Prostate Cancer

By Tema Hemi

Two New Zealand sporting legends Wayne 'Buck' Shelford and Jenny-May Clarkson are going the distance to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer. Today the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand held their annual endurance cycling race at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park where over 200 participants young and old were there to support the cause.

Rugby hard man Wayne Shelford is advocating for a change in the mindsets amongst Māori men.  

Shelford says, "It's manning up and not being afraid to go to the doctor and that's a big thing. A lot of them are afraid of getting the result or they're scared of the digital rectum examination but you can get the PSA test as well but you've got to remember it's not conclusive but you know we have to man up for our wives and our tamariki."

According to NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation, about one in 13 men will develop prostate cancer before the age of 75.

Shelford says the numbers can easily be reduced, "Well a lot of it comes from within, you've got to make the initial you know want the desire to make a decision to want to look after yourself first, before you look after your children because if your not around them then whats it all for, what are you having your children for? So too many of our men are dying too young because they don't go to the doctor."

Ministry of Health research shows prostate cancer in New Zealand is the most common cancer in men. Around 3,000 annual registrations and about 600 deaths from prostate cancer each year.

Jenny-May Clarkson says, "this is a big event for me personally, my father-in-law was diagnosed with prostate cancer and no doubt it will also affect my husband and our children and they are my inspiration to be here today to support this special cause."

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand plan to raise $100,000 to help with research in finding new ways of diagnosing prostate cancer.