A hairy group of motorcycle riders will roar around Lake Macquarie this Sunday on a mission to kick start conversations about men’s health.
Newcastle resident and prostate cancer survivor Dale McLean will once again lead a band of moustache-sporting riders on a trek around the lake, starting in Belmont, for his Movember Motorcycle Ride.
“My favourite thing about Movember is the comradery and fun we have trying to raise funds and awareness for men’s health,” Mr McLean said.
“My goal for the motorcycle ride is to encourage men to have a chat and go see a doctor.”
Following a diagnosis with prostate cancer eight years ago, Mr McLean is now on a mission to educate and raise awareness for men’s health charity the Movember Foundation.
Once a man of few words when it came to his health, Mr McLean’s irregular GP visits and ‘I’ll be right’ attitude kept him worry-free and away from the doctor.
At 49, Mr McLean was urged to get the PSA test by his daughters, Jamie and Elisha.
The test measures the level of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood, which can help diagnose prostate disease.
Being just shy of 50, Mr McLean was not sold that he needed the test but went for the sake of his girls.
Mr McLean experienced his first ‘uh-oh’ moment a few days later when his doctor asked to see him.
The news of his diagnosis came in two parts – the good and the bad.
The bad news was that Mr McLean’s high PSA levels and the subsequent tests revealed that he had aggressive prostate cancer.
The good news was that it had been caught just in time.
Mr McLean’s cancer was 1 millimetre from spreading and being untreatable.
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After 10 hours on the operating table to remove his prostate, blood tests and endless appointments, Mr McLean was given the all clear.
He was officially in remission after three years.
Mr McLean admitted that the push from his daughters to go see the doctor potentially saved his life.
Figures show that men are less likely than women to use health care services, with an estimated 80 per cent of men not going to see a physician until they are convinced by someone else to do so.
More than 200,000 men are estimated to be living with and beyond prostate cancer in Australia.
In NSW, around 7000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
Now Mr McLean is using his story to inspire others to talk, get checked out and look after themselves.
As well as growing a mo for Movember, Mr McLean organisers the motorcycle ride around Lake Macquarie.
Last year more than 80 riders took park who raised $1500. This year Mr McLean is hoping to raise $2000 for the Movember Foundation.
The Movember Motorcyle Ride kicks off at 10am from Belmont South Park, opposite Robert Street, on Sunday, November 11.
Anyone who donates will receive a mo sticker for their bike or a wristband.
There will be a talk before 11am and a minute’s silence to observe Remembrance Day.
Afterwards, riders will trek around the lake towards Swansea pub for lunch.
To donate to Mr McLean’s Movember fund-raising efforts check out his MoSpace page.