WILL Bushell is revving up for a healthy future after surviving prostate cancer.
A farmer from The Lenches, he’d been having regular PSA tests since he was 55 until suddenly this year his levels shot up, resulting in a scan and a biopsy at the Alexandra Hospital.
“When the results came back it was found I had aggressive prostate cancer – that was in August this year,” said Will, now 60.
“Having got that bit of news it was a bit of a shock.”
He had his prostate removed at the Alex but ten days before his operation the classic motorcycle fan took part in a ‘Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride’ – raising money to combat prostate cancer.
“Like a lot of people I had never done any serious fund-raising before, but it was a real pleasure,” said Will.
“I’ve had been people from America backing me and it’s really surprised me to discover just how generous people can be.”
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – a global movement – celebrates ‘the art of being dapper and classic and vintage style motorcycles’ and with the nearest one in Evesham he and his friends joined 55 riders to enjoy the outing.
“It’s a social thing, we’re fair-weather bikers and instead of going to the pub we tend to stop at a cafe for a cappuccino or, whisper it, a hot chocolate.
“In fact on the ride we stopped in Broadway and some Canadian tourists thought we must be quintessential English Hell’s Angels….”
As well as having fun, Will and his friends raised £5,500 for combat prostate cancer out of £12,500 raised by the entire group.
“We had a great time and on a personal level it was a good distraction from the operation – there’s something very strange about walking into a hospital feeling fine and coming out hobbling at the end of it,” said Will.
However he’s full of praise for the Alex: “Everyone at the hospital was superb,” he said.
“I don’t think you could have bought better care – from start to finish I was so well looked after.”
The fund-raising paid off too as Will discovered he was one of the top 100 globally and will be sent a presentation bike helmet as a thank you.
THE results of the prostate cancer PSA blood test day at Redditch Town Hall have been arriving this week.
For some the news will be ‘Green’ for good, for others it will be ‘Amber’ while some will receive a ‘Red’.
Red means something suspicious, not necessarily cancer, has been detected and should be checked out as soon as possible.
Amber is there could be something there, go and see your GP within three months.
Green is you’re in the clear for the moment but should still have a test done annually.
It’s a sobering thought that of the 199 men who took part in the test day as many as 25 – one in eight – will go to develop the disease.
Redditch Standard editor Ross Crawford was one of the lucky ones, receiving a ‘Green’, but it’s important to remember that particularly as in its early stages prostate cancer can produce no symptoms.
The day had been organised by Redditch Lions club and paid for thanks to the fund-raising of prostate cancer survivor and keen angler Jim Burton who charges a ‘peg fee’ from his fellow West Midlands anglers.