Jim Kane from Randalstown was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. Jim’s cancer was advanced, but thanks to a clinical trial supported by Friends of the Cancer Centre and the support of the charity over the last 12 years, Jim is still here. This is his story.
“I found out I had cancer by chance. A friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he told me he found out after his doctor carried out a PSA test, which is a simple blood test that can flag problems with the prostate. By chance, I was having a routine check-up with my GP that same week and while I wasn’t experiencing any issues or any of the common symptoms of prostate cancer, for peace of mind he did the PSA check.
“Two days later my GP asked me to come see him right away. My PSA test was very high and he wanted me to go for a biopsy. The results were not good. They showed that I had a highly aggressive prostate cancer. I was devastated. All of a sudden I felt like my life was gone. I was fighting cancer.”
No quick fix
“I started treatment at the Cancer Centre in Belfast but due to the how advanced the cancer was, I was invited to take part in a clinical trial called STAMPEDE. I knew why I was being asked: I was in the 7% that might not make it through. I had nothing to lose, so I agreed to take part as I knew it could save my life. I was taken under the wing of Professor Joe O’Sullivan who explained what the trial involved and what was ahead of me. This was no quick fix, but a long hard battle. The care and support I received from Professor O’Sullivan, the clinical trial nurses and everyone involved in my treatment was incredible. They were all working hard for me and I developed a mind-set that not only did I want to get better for me and my family, but I wanted to get better for them too.”
Friends of the Cancer Centre is a lifeline to patients
“It was during these dark and difficult times that I became aware of Friends of the Cancer Centre and the work it was doing to support people like me. The charity is a lifeline to so many through its vital work. From funding extra staff to providing a cup of tea and newspaper when you wait on an appointment or treatment, everything the charity does makes a real difference. I’m particularly grateful for the work the charity does in local research, including its ongoing support of my STAMPEDE trial, as it is giving many people like me a future. Even before my treatment had finished, I was raising money for the charity and I proudly continue to do so today.
I’m still here
“Today, 12 years after I was diagnosed, I’m still here. In that time I have been given the opportunity to enjoy my life and watch my grandchildren grow up. I endeavour to make the most of every single day. I am testament to the skills and dedication of the fantastic team of people at the Cancer Centre who worked tirelessly to save my life and the lives of many, many others. Friends of the Cancer Centre is a vital part of this great team and I’m forever grateful to the charity and all the people who support it as without them, my experience would have been very different. I shouldn’t be here, but I am.”
Q Radiothon is committed to supporting people like Jim by raising vital funds to support our fantastic charity partners. If you would like to help us make a difference, you can take part in our Big Brunch, hold your own event or make a donation.