Family set to run Principality Cardiff Half for Prostate Cancer UK after twin brothers diagnosed with disease
Twin brothers Andy and Tony Farquharson have hailed the support of their loved ones following their shock prostate cancer diagnoses this year.
Andy was diagnosed with the most common cancer in men in April, and that prompted Tony to visit his GP – and he too was confronted with the shocking news three months afterwards.
The 61-year-old brothers, who are joint directors of a packaging company in Bristol, continue to support each other through their prostate cancer journey – and a raft of their loved ones will run in the Cardiff Half Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK on October 1st.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, affecting one in eight men but that statistic intensifies to one in four if you are black or Afro Caribbean like Andy and Tony.
Andy said: “When I heard I had prostate cancer it was a mixture of shock and disbelief. I had no symptoms; I’d just heard the same radio advert highlighting the risk of prostate cancer for men of Afro Caribbean heritage on several occasions. That prompted me to see my GP.”
That January car journey proved a lifesaver, not just for Andy, but for his brother Tony who, aware of the extra family risk of the disease after Andy’s diagnosis, sought support.
Tony said: “Being the twin brother of Andy, it was advised that I should also get tested for prostate cancer as it can run in families. I also thought I should get tested as we both share similar ailments through our childhood and adult lives. Following my PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, thelevel was lower than Andy’s, but due to my family history it was deemed prudent to have an MRI scan and then a biopsy. I’m so glad I did.”
Tony’s news mirrored Andy’s, but the brothers set about supporting each other and, the family followed suit.
Andy added: “We are very lucky to have such a very strong and close bond, we have dealt with both success and misfortune in equal measure and are able to confide in each other at a level most people cannot. I have told Tony he will hopefully thank me one day.
Tony continued: “We are very lucky to have a close-knit family and friends for support. Having a twin brother and working together we became experts in all things prostate
Reflecting on the family network around them, Andy said: “The support has been amazing, firstly from my amazing wife.The kids have all been great and really take their lead from our attitude; if we are okay, they will be okay. I try to always be super positive and pragmatic about things, so this helps the children.
“Following the news, Lauren, my eldest decided the Cardiff Half Marathan would be a good place to start fundraising. Quickly Lucy, Sam, Harry and Aaron followed her in joining up.
“None have done any serious running, but the drive to succeed will get them all through.
“Me and Tony are incredibly proud of them all, for their support of us and for taking on this challenge too. We have already smashed our fundraising target, but our mission remains to make a positive impact and raise awareness about this silent killer, not only for ourselves but for the countless other families affected by this disease.
“So we are proud to announce that we have joined forces with Prostate Cancer UK, a leading charity dedicated to funding research, raising awareness, and supporting those impacted by prostate cancer. Our aim is to not only increase awareness about this prevalent disease but also raise funds to help Prostate Cancer UK halt its progress and improve the lives of those affected.”
You can sponsor the team at https://www.justgiving.com/team/farqssquad
Men can find out if they are at higher risk of prostate cancer – and what they can do about it – by using Prostate Cancer UK’s 30-second online risk checker at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck.