Supercars powerhouse backs cancer charity

Supercars powerhouse Dick Johnson Racing has thrown its weight behind a charitable initiative run by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Supercars powerhouse backs cancer charity

Led by chairman and CEO Ryan Story, the team's staff have committed to taking part in The Long Run across the month of September.

The Long Run challenges people to run, walk or cycle 72 kilometres to help raise awareness of the physical and mental challenges faced by those battling prostate cancer.

Forty five people are diagnosed with prostate cancer each day in Australia, making it the most common form of cancer for Aussie men, and one in five of those suffering the illness will go on to develop anxiety or depression.

However 72 per cent of men won't seek help for their mental health issues, hence the 72-kilometre challenge for The Long Run.

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Raising prostate cancer awareness is a cause close to DJR's heart; legendary driver and team owner Dick Johnson is a prostate cancer survivor, as is DJR general manager Rob Herrod. Johnson, Herrod and Story are all ambassadors for the PCFA.

DJR legend John Bowe has been undergoing his own prostate cancer battle this year, as has famous Supercars driver-turned-commentator Neil Crompton.

In the case of both Bowe and Crompton, regular PSA tests as part of their racing licence medicals helped flagged the illness.

Being proactive with what is a reasonably non-invasive test is something Story is particularly passionate about.

"Before my time, the team's first involvement with the Prostate Cancer Foundation was back in 2010 when Dick himself was diagnosed and the team ran the blue ribbon on its cars," explained Story.

"When John Bowe, who is a mainstay of DJR and a massive part of our history, was diagnosed earlier this year, I thought we needed to use our platform and our position.

"I've always felty that we, as a sport, and us as teams, have a moral obligation to use the platform and audience that we have to raise awareness for these charities and non-profits, and also to raise funds.

"It was soon after that that we learned that the voice of Supercars Neil Crompton was diagnosed. It goes to show that this thing has no prejudice. It can target anyone. It's important to know the signs and know that a simple blood test can be all it takes to save your life.

"There's a stigma around prostate cancer based on blokes being blokes. But a simple PSA blood test offers the best hope of detecting and beating prostate cancer in blokes who are at risk.

"The best-known symptom of prostate problems is having a bit of trouble when you go to the bathroom. But the reality is that a simple talk with your doctor about a PSA test, which is just a blood test, has the potential to save your life.

"If you're over 40 and there's a history of prostate cancer in your family, talk to your GP and get a PSA test every couple of years. If you don't have family history, do it when you hit 50. That could be all it takes to save your life.

You can donate to The Long Run here.

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