Representatives from many football league clubs in England cycled from Leyton Orient FC to Ajax Amsterdam to raise money for the fight against prostate cancer. In April, the British high Commission Football Club (BHC FC) raised money here in Ghana to contribute to this fundraising venture. BHC FC played against a team of former Black Stars, managed by former African Footballer of the Year, Ibrahim Sunday, in Ghana’s national stadium in Accra. They followed this up with a fundraising ‘Race Night’. In total, BHC FC raised £750.
BHC FC were joined at their event by Mo, a 71 year old British/Ghanaian national who survived prostate cancer and is now living a normal, healthy life here in Ghana. This is Mo’s story;
Mo was a 60 years old Manager with Mercedes Benz in the UK and had life the way he wanted it. His wife and brother had earlier died of breast and prostate cancer respectively, so sadly, Mo was already accustomed with the painful realities of cancer. And Mo himself was not to be left out of the clutches of the disease.
“I was waking up several times every night to use the toilet. This became a routine I could not contain, so I visited my doctor. After running a series of tests, my doctor referred me to a specialist who eventually told me that I had prostate cancer. My children struggled to come to terms with the news”.
But Mo challenged this sad news and asked his doctor immediately what the next steps were for beating the illness.
For the next thirty seven weeks, Mo went for radiotherapy. “I was also put on the medication ‘Zoelex’, which I had to inject into my stomach every three months for two years”. Though this helped to gradually reduce the effects of the cancer, the radiotherapy caused Mo a lot of pain. He would also discover blood frequently in his urine. “The Zoelex caused me to have hot flushes, a symptom that usually occurs in women in menopause, the passing of sperm through the urinary tract, and many other excruciating pains”.
Many people in Mo’s shoes would have refused to go along with treatment after learning of the seeming harmful side effects.
After three years of intensive treatment, Mo’s doctor realised the cancer cells had reduced. He was asked to come just twice a year for review. In 2012, six years later, Mo had some good news. He was discharged by his doctor after satisfactory progress. Though he had not been cured completely of cancer, he had life to hold on to unlike before and enjoyed every moment of it. As Mo puts it “today is a blessing, tomorrow is a mystery”.
“If cancer does not kill you, something else will”, said Mo. The need for those diagnosed with the disease, and society as a whole, “must have a positive attitude towards cancer. The battle against cancer must be won”.
Cancer does not know the rich, neither the poor. Anyone can get it. Mo’s story is one of many stories that was referenced during the Leyton Orient FC to Ajax Amsterdam bike ride. You can follow the latest news on the 2015 ride at the Facebook event page. And on Twitter using the hashtag #L2A. Hopefully Mo’s story can act as inspiration to many people.