RELAY FOR LIFE
THIS weekend many Tamworthians will celebrate survival, fight back against cancer and remember those who’ve been taken by the disease at the Relay for Life.
For Dr Ray Dart, it’s a time to celebrate his and his wife’s survival, and show others there is life after cancer.
Dr Dart was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and said he’d battled it ever since.
“I had radiation in Sydney’s for nearly eight weeks at the Prince of Wales Hospital, having 15 minutes radiation everyday,” he said.
“I was, and still am, treated by Dr Bob Smee. I saw him every six months, but now every three months, as recently after they found a slight recurrence. I don’t think you ever really get cured of cancer, it’s always lurking, but I’m travelling alright now.”
Dr Dart said he had no symptoms and was having a general check-up when he was diagnosed.
He is now the Prostate Cancer Support Group convener and said some of the group members were on Relay for Life teams and he would be going for the Survivors and Carers Walk that opens the relay.
“My wife is a carer and survivor,” Dr Dart said.
“It’s good to get the support of the community groups out there and it’s very important to celebrate that you’ve gone through the cancer experience and are still around.
“Because so many people aren’t able to cope with diagnosis, it’s good to show people there is a way through. The relay also raises a lot of funds for cancer research and it’s a recognition of people who’ve survived.”
Dr Dart said he also wanted to promote the message that men needed to be checked for prostate cancer from 40 years old onwards.
“It is a silent killer and you need to catch it early,” he said.