Big fundraising effort for awareness group

A PROSTATE cancer survivor who suffered heartbreak as he watched a close friend die from the disease has helped raise hundreds of pounds towards research.

Gerry Cross, 63, of Littlewood Street, Rothwell, who had his prostate removed three years ago, has already raised more than £700 for the Prostate Cancer Charity with 12 collection tins around the town since the start of March, which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

He is one of more than 40 members of Kettering and District Prostate Cancer Charity branch and, along with Mr Cross’ efforts, the group also helped raise funds for the charity and together they collected a total of about £1,600.

Mr Cross said: “I was delighted with the response I got from people in the town, as it’s so important to raise awareness of the disease and it also goes into research.

“I survived it but in some respects I was quite lucky – I got referred for more tests by a doctor who wasn’t the regular one I see.

“If it was my regular doctor, I might not have got referred on the day and I might have ended up like my friend who unfortunately died.

“The group allows people in the same situation to get together and talk to each other.”

Collection tins were placed in Rothwell Conservative Club, Brown’s and Results estate agents, Store Coffee House, the post office, Davis opticians, the shoe repair shop next door, the Charter Inn, the Blue Bell and Red Lion pubs, the One Stop Candy Shop and Ram’s corner shop.

The tin in Ram’s had to be emptied halfway through the month as it was already full.

The group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Beeswing pub, Rockingham Road, Kettering, and it provides a support network for those with the disease and their close family.

Nurses who treat some of the patients also go to the meetings.

Frank Adams, 84, of Kettering, is a member of the group. He said: “It’s marvellous that Gerry and the rest of the group managed to raise so much as it’s a rotten disease to have.

“The sad thing is that so many men avoid the symptoms but hopefully the money will go towards raising awareness.

“It’s a brilliant group and we’re eternally grateful to the Beeswing for allowing us to meet here.”