Sir Wayne 'Buck' Shelford
A battle with non-Hodgkins lymphona is behind Buck’s support of cancer awareness and campaigns like Blue September. “I did a lot of reading during six months of chemotherapy and realised prostate cancer had a fairly low profile so wanted to help.” Now cancer-free, the former All Black encourages all men, especially Maori who are more reluctant to visit their doctor, to have regular checks so they can live long and happy lives with their whanau.
Sky TV NZ commentator Tony Johnson is one of the game's best commentators. His 20 years plus with Sky TV NZ has seen him call All Black tests all over the world, as well as Super Rugby, Olympics and Commonwealth Games. He is also a NZ Rugby World columnist and co-author of the successful book Behind the Silver Fern - The Players Speak.
Mark Hadlow, ONZM
Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director – Mark Hadlow is driven by a passion for performance. He has appeared in two recent stage productions, MAMIL and The Biggest, both of which featured characters suffering an encounter with prostate cancer. Mark has used these performances to spread the message of prostate cancer awareness.
The face of the SKY Sports, Stephen has held a long standing position at the top of sports broadcasting in New Zealand, fronting major sporting events such as the Halberg Awards, Rugby and Soccer World Cups and Olympics. Stephen has a close family member living with prostate cancer.
“I have a check for prostate cancer every year. If it comes back fine then I’m happy and I know I can get on with my life. You have to be realistic about your health and how your situation changes with age. There’s no point pretending it’s not happening, get real, get blue!"
Actor and singer Shane Cortese is perhaps best known for his role as Dominic Thompson on Shortland Street. Other roles include Mac, Nothing Trivial; Loki, Almighty Johnsons; and Hayden Peters, Outrageous Fortune. Away from the camera, Shane has established a successful real estate career, and is currently Auction Manager and Auctioneer for Harcourts Cooper & Co in Auckland.
“Maori and Pacific men have always been fearful of going to the doctor, and of possibly being seen as less masculine, like many Kiwi men. But prostate cancer affects all of us, regardless of colour or culture; brown, black, yellow, pink or blue. My advice to the fellas is to "go to the doctor, get a blood test and get checked!”
Former rugby player Tony is one of the only players to win back-to-back Super Rugby titles with different teams. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer early in 2003 but overcame the disease after gruelling months of chemotherapy sessions and rejoined the French team (for whom he was playing at the time), reaching the semi-final stage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
His father's battle, twice, with prostate cancer was the impetus behind broadcaster Sam Wallace's support for Blue September and prostate cancer awareness. There are some really positive outcomes if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer he says but early detection is vitally important, especially if there is a family history of the disease which puts you at greater risk. He thinks it would be foolish to have a family history of prostate cancer and not be proactive about getting on to those prostate checks even at a younger age. Sam is following his own advice and doing just that.
Slade ‘Budha’ McFarland, rugby payer and boxer, is one of only four North Harbour Rugby centurions and a stalwart of the NZ Maori side. He also has a 52 Super Rugby cap career for the Blues and Crusaders. After participating in the Fight For Life charity boxing tournament supporting the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Slade was keen to support Blue September.
New Zealand’s first MasterChef, Brett is focussed on preparing fresh, healthy meals for his family and fellow kiwis. “I’m all about getting the word out on men’s health issues especially when so many deaths can be prevented by a simple test.”
A personal experience with prostate cancer and a desire to help other men understand the disease meant Peter had no hesitation when asked to become an Ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. A sports commentator, affectionately known as ‘the voice of yachting,’ Peter had his prostate surgically removed in 2006. He had visited a specialist on another matter and the prostate diagnosis came out of the blue. His advice to men is to get regular prostate checks. “No doubt about that,” he says.
Ray Woolf, MNZM
One of New Zealand’s most well known entertainers, Ray was diagnosed with prostate cancer during routine blood tests, while managing Type 1 diabetes. He had surgery in 2012, is now prostate cancer-free and encourages other men to be proactive and have regular checks.
Mark Inglis, ONZM
After being stuck in a snow cave on Aoraki/Mount Cook for 13 days, mountaineer Mark lost both legs below the knee as a result of frostbite. In 2003 he received the New Zealand Order of Merit as an Officer in recognition of his services to disabled people, and in 2006, after 40 days of climbing, he became the first ever double amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Broadcaster Kerre is a successful talkback host, author and newspaper columnist. “I am delighted to help out with Blue September – my dad ultimately died from the cancer trifecta (prostate, bowel, liver) ten years ago, so this is a cause dear to my heart. As is getting men to take more responsibility for their health.”