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"I am committed to not just saving a man, but saving every man."

Kate and her father Frank.

By KATE McINERNY

I could never have imagined writing this article a year ago. That is the impact that losing someone you love to cancer has on you. It changes your life.  It makes you appreciate the small, seemingly insignificant moments and pushes you out of your comfort zone.

My father, Frank McInerny, lost his battle to prostate cancer two months ago, a week shy of both Christmas and my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. It was a devastating blow to my family, who are all extremely close,  to lose such a big personality and influential person in our lives. But we were lucky to have dad for as long as we did.

When he was first diagnosed the cancer had already spread to his bones and lymph nodes. Both dad and I were nurses and sadly understood what that meant, that it was just a matter of time.  I say dad lost his battle, and I mean that. Dad was determined not to let it beat him, and with the support of his medical team and a number of trial medical treatments, dad’s one year sentence got extended.

He got to be there for the birth of his grandchildren, holidays with my mum, see my sister and I graduate and watch my brothers become first home owners. He would have missed all these milestone events if it wasn’t for the extra time he was given, the support of prostate cancer research and, of course, his courageous willpower.

Kate and her father as his prostate cancer developed.

Dad devoted his remaining time to contributing to supporting prostate cancer research.  He participated anyway he could to help others. Since his passing, I have wanted to continue his efforts. This is why I have decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s SAVE A MAN Kilimanjaro Challenge in October 2014.

My dad endured a gruelling physical challenge and showed unwavering courage, determination and strength. My climb to the peak nearly 6 kilometres above sea level will test these very same qualities in myself and will raise money and awareness for a disease that claims close to 3,300 men every year.

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This will be a first for me and for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. This will mark the first time I will take on such a physically demanding challenge for charity, and it is also the first time the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will embarked on an international fundraising campaign.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is such an important organisation for those battling prostate cancer. Not just important for the men affected, but for entire families.  The support they provide through online information, support groups and advice for carers is critical in sustaining quality of life.  They proactively raise awareness in the community and provide financial support to researchers who tirelessly work towards better treatments and detection methods.

I have witnessed first-hand the struggles that families are faced with when their loved ones are diagnosed with something as cruel and challenging as prostate cancer.

I am committed to not just saving a man, but saving every man.

Kate is a 30 year old, intensive care nurse who lives in Melbourne. She is the youngest of five children (3 brothers and 1 sister). Kate’s family is originally from Bendigo but have lived in Melbourne since Kate was a teenager. She has travelled extensively across the world and is now taking on the Save a Man Kilimanjaro Challenge to honour her late father Frank McInerny and raise much needed funds for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. With the support of the Australian community, Kate is aiming to raise $10,000 by October 2014.

To show your support for Kate and the Save a Man Kilimanjaro Challenge, click here

THE SAVE A MAN Kilimanjaro Challenge

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is seeking 20 Australians who are prepared to pack their bags and join Kate on the SAVE A MAN Kilimanjaro Challenge, the organisation’s first international fundraising initiative.

People who sign up for the challenge will join Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia on a 12 day international trip, from the 6-17 October 2014, which includes a 6 day trek climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The trek offers Australians a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk through pine forests, walk over glaciers and reach the ultimate goal of scaling the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m above sea level).

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia needs more men and women (aged over 18 years) to sign up and make this challenge a reality. To register your interest, please visit the Inspired Adventures website.

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