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Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Provides Motivation For Big Golf Race Challenge

By: | Fri 05 Jul 2024

Prostate Cancer UK's The Big Golf Race fundraising initiative continues to see golfers across the UK take part in one of the fundraising challenges to help raise funds for vital reseach to help save men's lives.  Just like brothers, Jamie and Adam Bather who have used their father’s prostate cancer diagnosis as extra motivation when they took on The Big Golf Race recently.

Joined by their cousin, Luke Griffiths, the three-ball successfully completed 72-holes at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club just before 20:30 having teed off at 04:45.

The Big Golf Race is a challenge golfers can take on in many forms to help fund research to find better tests to save men’s lives. The Marathon, which consists of four rounds and 26 miles of walking in a day/Half Marathon, two rounds of golf in a day and 13 miles of walking/Ultra Marathon, which consists of 100 rounds in a day and a whopping 35 miles of walking.

The most common cancer in men, prostate cancer affects more than 52,000 men every year on average – that's 143 being diagnosed every day.   

“Our Dad, Luke's Uncle Mark was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2016 completely out of the blue,” said Jamie, 32, Head of Education and Player Care West Ham United Academy and lives locally in Leighton Buzzard.

“The diagnosis came as a shock, but the treatment and the ordeal he then had to endure to overcome prostate cancer was one of the most difficult periods of his and our lives. He had a saying which he stood by day in day out ‘Small Steps’ taking each day as it comes.  


“He is now through all treatment and recovery to be healthy, fit and cancer free showing that the research and treatment available works and any support we can give by raising awareness and money through completing this challenge is valuable,” he added.

“Luke's mum Melanie also suffered and defeated two bouts of breast cancer a few years prior to my dad's diagnosis so as a family, we are all hugely grateful for the treatment and research completed by charities like Prostate Cancer UK and others,” he added.

“We all love playing golf together and this challenge allows us to do that and raise money for an amazing cause,” said Adam, 29, a Civil Servant who lives in Houghton Regis. “We had great fun, and support from our friends and family but most of all were able to raise over £2,000 for an amazing charity close to our hearts,” he said.

Since The Big Golf Race was launched in 2020, more than 10,000 golfers have raised over £3.4m to help fund life-saving research to radically improve the way prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated.

This year, the leading men’s health charity is urging more golfers to take part in The Big Golf Race to help save dads, grandads, brothers, uncles and friends from a disease that affects 1 in 8 men in the UK.

“I was 49 and reeling from the news, ‘Mr Bather, you have cancer.’  “Just the very word strikes fear into each of us. I was fit, healthy and I had no untoward symptoms and I wasn’t remotely ill,” said Mark Bather.

“Having lost my Dad at the age of 59 and Grandad to prostate cancer, it really shouldn’t have been a shock, but once the diagnosis was confirmed after a scan and biopsy, I was heading to the Royal Marsden in Kensington for my treatment. In my case it meant a pretty brutal, Radical Prostatectomy operation, followed by 18 weeks of Chemotherapy, eight weeks of Radiotherapy and two years of hormone treatment.

“I would be lying if I said the treatment isn’t tough because it is. The physical and mental challenges of dealing with cancer have proved to be some of the darkest times in my life. Body changes, the impact on work and family are just the tip of an endless iceberg. The scars will heal but the mental impact may last a while. I managed my treatment in small steps which later became a tattoo as a reminder of the sleepless nights, aching bones and stomach wrenching sickness. 

“Fortunately I had the support of my wonderful wife, sons and great friends so at least I wasn’t in it alone. After two years, I’m on the mend and looking forward to living life, not just surviving. I’m determined not to be defined by my cancer. I’m working hard to get back in shape and enjoying every day, but I urge anyone, around the age of 50 to go and get checked. Get over your embarrassment so that any issues can be caught early. If you’re lady reading this, get the man in your life to get to the doctors and get himself checked. If your Dad is my age, bully him into going to get checked. Nothing should stop you and I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t,” he added.

Prostate Cancer UK ambassador and former Masters champion Danny Willett is also backing the epic challenge and hopes 2024 is another record-breaking year for The Big Golf Race.

He said: “The golf community’s response to The Big Golf Race has been incredible, so it’s no surprise that it’s now the biggest golf fundraising challenge in the UK. It just goes to show just how far golfers will go to raise money for an incredible cause and I’ll be doing all I can to help them this year.”

To join the thousands of other golfers in taking on Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race, please visit prostatecanceruk.org/TheBigGolfRace.


About prostate cancer     

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.  
  • More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average – that's 143 men every day.    
  • 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer. 
  • Around 475,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.  
  • Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 12,000 men every year.  
  • Prostate cancer is curable if caught early, but early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, so it is vital that men know their risk. 
  • Men are at higher risk if they are over 50, Black or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer.  
  • To help men check their risk in 30 seconds, Prostate Cancer UK have an online risk checker available here: https://prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker

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