08 November 2022
Meet Keith Daddow – PCFA champion, prostate cancer warrior, and fundraising extraordinaire.
11 years ago, Keith was diagnosed with prostate cancer at just 42.
His dad was diagnosed in his 60s, so he knew that he had an increased risk of developing the disease – but like any cancer diagnosis, it still came as a complete shock.
“I remember asking my GP for a PSA test when I was 38 and the doc refused, so I insisted, and then kept getting it checked yearly after that,” he said
“Funny thing was I didn’t even know what my prostate was, where it was, or what purpose it served. I just knew I wasn’t taking any chances.
“My PSA came back elevated, and the doctor said it was probably nothing. I saw the specialist, who said there was an issue, but it was probably nothing. I got the biopsy, and it wasn’t nothing.
“I had a radical six weeks later, because the thing was aggressive. And then for the first six months after that I barely left the house. It does that to you, you know.
“Things got gradually better, and the bad days slowly became less frequent.
“After I hit three years in the clear I picked up a PCFA newsletter in a waiting room and figured I’d get involved.”
Since then, Keith, now 53, has been one of PCFA’s strongest advocates – raising awareness and funds through all sorts of initiatives, from traversing mountains, to hosting poker tournaments and auctioning off rams.
“One of my first events was climbing Mt Kilimanjaro as part of PCFA’s Save a Man Challenge – and in doing so, our team raised over $53,000 for the cause.
“Honestly, the physical side of prostate cancer was tough, but the mental side was a lot tougher – and I needed something to get me going again. Climbing Kilimanjaro gave me that.
“Once you’ve looked at your own mortality – you have a different outlook on life. So, I decided that my way to get through it was to give, and give everything I had. It got me through.”
One year on, Keith’s wife Margot signed up for the same challenge and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to double down on their efforts to make a difference.
“I’ve always called my wife Magnificent Margot as that’s what she is! I couldn’t have done any of this without her.”
In the following years, Keith said he found that being “loud and proud” about his diagnosis and talking about it to as many people as possible gave him the energy to keep pushing forward.
“I did 73 interviews, newspaper articles and speaking engagements – sharing my story with thousands of people to ensure more men were getting tested,” he shared.
“I wanted men to know that prostate cancer isn’t as big of a deal if you can catch it early. So, you need to be having regular checks.
“I can’t say it enough – you’ve got to catch this thing early.
“Us blokes don’t always like talking about health but it’s a simple blood test.”
To date, Keith has raised over $250,000 for PCFA’s research and support services – and he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
Just last month, Keith, through his role at Elders Katanning, teamed up with Woodyarrup Merino Stud to raise further funds for PCFA. The well-known stud put forward a prized Ram, Woodyarrup Blue, and auctioned him off for the cause.
“I’m so thankful for their generosity and for supporting such an important cause,” he said.
“I’m one of the most driven people around and once I set my mind to something, I go full force. To have local businesses like Woodyarrup get on board and support men with prostate cancer really means a lot.”
Reflecting on his journey, Keith said despite all that he went through, he still believes he was fortunate to go through prostate cancer so that he can be a catalyst for change.
“It’s made me a better person. I’ve taken the positive from it and I’ll give it all I’ve got.”