Participant story: Wouter de Haas

Wouter de Haas

In memoriam, Peter de Haas, my Dad

I lost my Dad in 2011 to liver cancer, which, to be brutally honest, he brought upon himself. Decades of excessive alcohol consumption will do that, won’t it.

From heavy drinking to total abstination overnight

What’s still up to this very day is hard to swallow though is that he had completely reformed himself 9 years before he passed away. He had suffered a minor stroke back then, landing him in a hospital and that was the wake-up call he needed. Didn’t drink a single drop since and though it’s a devil of an addiction to defeat, especially after such a long time, he always managed to remain cheerful and keep a healthy degree of self-mockery and a good sense of humour about him.

Prostate cancer followed by liver cancer

But cancer couldn’t be averted for him and in 2009 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He beat this, but two years later it was liver cancer, ending with a horrible sick bed and my having to nearly single-handedly care for my dad up to the moment of his death. Having already lost all of my grandparents to one form of cancer or another before that fateful night, I have been at war with this horrible disease for quite a while now.

Prostate cancer awareness

So, I choose prostate cancer research as my charity because it was the first to afflict my old man. And… having read up on it a bit, I also learned that it’s quite often lethal for no good reason. Lethal, not because it’s such a vicious form of cancer or it’s affecting vital organs, but simply because of silly shame, false sense of male pride and utterly daft taboos. Men don’t go see their GP’s and doctors soon enough and then the cancer gets too much time to spread and do it’s evil work. And there’s really no need! So, blokes, if you happen to be reading this, in case of the slightest doubt, don’t be stupid! Your wives, kids, girlfriends, families and friends need you so just go see your doc, will ya?! There’s absolutely NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!

Every Day in May

In order to raise awareness and maybe a little money, my three Bernese Mountain Dogs (a giant dog breed that also happens to be very prone to all kinds of cancer!) Stockard, Pasha, Aubrey and me will participate in fitnaturally’s Every Day in May event and walk at least 5k a day for the entire month of May.