TIME TO TALK: Paul McIlvride is having surgery for prostate cancer this week.
TIME TO TALK: Paul McIlvride is having surgery for prostate cancer this week. Sharon Smallwood

Rendezvous gives hope

FOR Paul McIlvride the 2016 SICYC Rendezvous was more than a party - it was a ray of hope.

Mr McIlvride has prostate cancer and will go under the knife at St Vincent's Hospital this Friday. The 60-year-old company director, who supplies car parking systems to places like the Whitsunday Coast Airport, started coming to the event about four years ago when his own father was dying from the disease.

"He was a typical man. He ignored the symptoms ... so by the time we actually got the diagnosis it was too late,” Mr McIlvride said.

Consequently, Mr McIlvride started to pay more attention to his own health. Although annual tests were "normal” he was advised by a urologist to have an MRI scan and in 2015 a suspect spot on his prostate was found.

"I guess my message is, if you've got a family history, don't rely on PSA results - get an MRI. And my other message is be a 'real man' and talk to people,” he said. "About 40,000 men a year are diagnosed with prostate cancer but men don't talk about these things. Breast cancer has so much awareness but prostate cancer is a bigger killer.”

Over the 10 years Mr McIlvride's father battled the disease, they both came to understand the importance of research. Mr McIlvride said the SICYC Rendezvous, which this year raised $103,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, was essential to helping people like him.

"Finding cures or treatments for a disease relies on research and without funding, that can't be done,” he said.


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