Meet some of our Pedal4Prostate riders and read their stories.
One thing they all have in common is that prostate cancer has affected their lives, either through advocacy work, the loss of a loved one or being diagnosed themselves.
Tony Dodunski and the 8-Balls
When specialists told Tony Dodunski he should go home a prepare for the worst, he never dreamed that eight years later he would be riding in a 4-hour endurance cycling event. From being wheelchair bound to finding a new ability to exercise and love life without the amount of pain he had become accustomed to, Tony rode alongside his son and daughter (both previous participants) in 2019.
Having only discovered he had prostate cancer by chance during a hernia operation in 2009, Tony was passionate about raising awareness of the disease and encouraging men to get regular checks. “Men don’t like talking about it. Whether that’s because of embarrassment or thinking that they’re bulletproof, I want men to understand that it is their right, even at 40 years of age, to get checked for prostate cancer,” he said.
Sadly Tony lost his battle with the disease early in 2020, his family and whanau riding in his honour at Hampton Downs later that year, and in the hope that through sharing their story and their participation in Pedal4Prostate, men will be encouraged to forget the stigma around prostate checks and realise that early detection is the key to survival.
The Auckland Aces
Pedal4Prostate was no maiden run for the Auckland Aces who took on the National Circuit at Hampton Downs in 2019 and 2020, doing their part in raising awareness for prostate cancer and helping break the stigma around testing.
Prostate cancer affects the whole whanu and after seeing cancer take loved ones too many times, former Silver-Fern Jenny-May took to the track. As a mother of twin boys whose father’s side has seen the devastation of the disease first-hand (Dean’s grandfather passed away from prostate cancer and his father survived the disease) she is passionate about raising awareness and encouraging men to get tested. Also important, was seeing women riding alongside her, in support of the men close to them.
Sir Wayne (Buck) Shelford
The former All Black and strong advocate for men’s health has jumped on his bike to raise awareness of prostate cancer on multiple occasions, encouraging other Kiwi blokes to go and get tested.