13 December 2022

For Noel Tonkin, member of the Fleurieu Cancer Support Group, fundraising for prostate cancer support is his way to give back.

Diagnosed with aggressive metastatic prostate cancer in 2018, the Goolwa-based advocate has made it his mission to raise awareness and donations in the local community and just this year alone, he helped collect over $7000 with his inspiring efforts, including a stellar performance during Men’s Health Week for PCFA’s Walk for Him campaign.

“It feels like the right thing to do,” Noel explains. “I’m going through the prostate cancer journey and if I can do something, if I can raise awareness and money along the way and maybe help others, I’m glad to do it.

“It’s hard work but it’s worth it when it results in benefits for others.”

Along with Walk for Him, Noel also helped organise the Pink and Blue Ball fundraiser at South Lakes Golf Club in Goolwa.

And far from done, he plans to raise even more money and awareness in 2023.

“I’ll probably do Walk for Him again, try and up my steps. And we will hold the Pink and Blue Ball fundraiser again also. If I’m able to do it, I’m going to keep going.”

Celebrating his 80th birthday this month, Noel has been a long-time member of Fleurieu Cancer Support Group.

Along with groups leaders Ian McCallum and Barry Fowler, Noel is key to the running of the group, who meet each month at Carrickalinga House in Victor Harbor.

Attending for over three years, he admits enjoying the camaraderie and open communication between members.

“When we have our meeting, we just sit around the table, have a cup of coffee and biscuits and talk about our problems. Find out how everyone is going; learn about each other’s treatments and current situations, learn from each other. It’s a great opportunity to be there for each other.”

Coming into the New Year, Noel and his Fleurieu Cancer Support Group members have potential plans for increasing awareness activity in the region, including a stall at local shopping centres.

“It would be great to have a physical stall where local men could approach us, or we them, to talk about PSA testing and share any overall knowledge about prostate cancer. It’s simply a way of getting the information out there,” he shared.

Owning an engraving and sign-making business for 30 years in Adelaide’s Nailsworth, the proud great-grandfather has gone through radiotherapy, chemotherapy and is currently working with a Hormone Therapy implant to treat his cancer.

During the last four years, he credits wife Jill as his “absolute rock”.

“I don’t know where I would be without Jill. She’s my everything, there for me every step of the way since my diagnosis and I’m a lucky man to have such a wonderful, caring partner.

“Also, our two adult sons Brett & Carl and families who have been a great support in fundraising and care in this journey.”

For more information about the Fleurieu Cancer Support Group, click here.