Twin brothers both diagnosed with prostate cancer - but on very different journeys - have teamed up with Shrewsbury Town and Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness of the disease.
Driven by former academy coach driver Dave Cossie, the Shrews’ League One clash against Cambridge United on Saturday will see the club shine a spotlight on the most common cancer in men.
A well-loved figure around the club, Dave, 65, was inspired to host the awareness event following the diagnosis that his twin brother, Pete, received in late 2021.
Pete was diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer and given as little as six months to live. More than two years later he is alive and fighting.
One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and this rises to one in four for black men.
After speaking to his GP following Pete’s diagnosis, and aware that his Caribbean heritage meant an added risk of the disease, Shrewsbury-based Dave had several PSA blood tests.
In April 2023 he was given the news that he too had prostate cancer, although thankfully the cancer had been caught a lot earlier.
He opted for surgery to remove his prostate, and before his operation, started began fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK by taking on the charity’s Cycle the Month challenge in August, raising an incredible £2,400, and smashing his initial £500 target. Since his surgery, he has recovered well.
Dave will saddle up again on Saturday, pedalling around the Croud Meadow pitch to raise further funds for the charity.
Information booklets published by Prostate Cancer UK, will also be available from a number of awareness volunteers who will be there on the day to talk about their experiences with this disease, which deprives families of more than 12,000 dads, partners, brothers, grandads and mates who die from prostate cancer every year.
Money raised on the day will fund vital research into lifesaving treatments for prostate cancer and providing practical support to men and their families affected by the disease.
Dave said: “I have decided to support Prostate Cancer UK because of the diagnosis my twin and I had.
"Sadly, for Pete it is too late to prevent the disease spreading throughout his body, but I am hopeful that my operation, 14 weeks ago will have been early enough to prevent my cancer from spreading.
“I was diagnosed on June 2, 2023, the day before I went on holiday. As a family, we struggled with the news and everything that was happening but tried our best to stay strong.
"Given that my cancer hadn't spread beyond the prostate I had choices my brother didn’t have – and opted for removal. 14 weeks on I’m doing well.
“I am really looking forward to challenging myself again this year and I’m delighted to be raising awareness and much-needed money.
“Currently, Pete is facing some challenges, but his positivity is my motivation to contribute to raising awareness about prostate cancer.”
The earlier you catch prostate cancer, the easier it is to treat, but early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, so it is vital that men know their risk.
Men are at higher risk if they are over 50, black or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer.
Early diagnosis can save thousands of lives, so Prostate Cancer UK are encouraging men across the country to use its 30-second online risk checker - prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker - to help them understand their risk and what they can do about it.
Seren Evans, Head of Events and Community Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re so grateful for the support of Dave, Pete and Shrewsbury Town FC, who are raising vital funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and an early diagnosis can save your life. Money raised will fund ground-breaking research towards a screening programme, so we can catch prostate cancer early and save lives.
“Dave and Pete’s remarkable story illustrates just why more men need to be aware of the risk of prostate cancer. Men are at higher risk if they are over 50, black or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer. Anyone with concerns should visit the charity’s online risk checker.
“We thank Dave and the local awareness volunteers for all their support, once again showing how families, friends and communities can work together, locally and across the UK to help save lives.”
Check your risk of prostate cancer by visiting https://prostatecanceruk.org/risk