Brian Britt is passionate about two things: farming and raising awareness for prostate cancer.
“No one is talking about it. We need to remove the stigma around getting checked,” he says.
Diagnosed in 2012 and given two years to live, Brian has undergone a range of treatments to remove the cancer.
After radiation therapy confined the cancer to his prostate, Brian was told he had an 85 per cent chance of beating the disease. But a scan revealed that the cancer had spread microscopically all over his body, resulting in a ‘blanket cover’ from below his ribs to the bottom of his buttocks.
“It feeds on testosterone. I’ve had to start hormone replacement therapy,” he says.
The treatment has left Brian chemically castrated and the hormones are having a significant effect on his muscles and bones, impeding his quality of life.
But early detection could have made for an entirely different story.
Now, with advice from his doctor to exercise, Brian has been chopping firewood like a man on a mission. And through auctions and fundraisers, he has raised close to $25,000 for prostate cancer support services.
“We need a men’s health bus, the women are doing a great job with their breast cancer buses.
“Us men are bloody hopeless. We don’t look after ourselves enough.”
Brian was in Smithton on Thursday to cut another load.
Local Adrian Dodd carted the wood for a reduced rate and support came from all over the community. When Sandra Hill, of Kafein Fix, got wind of the project, she donated morning tea to all involved.
“They love it these old farmers, they all love to help,” says Brian.
“It’s not just about raising money; it’s the mateship, it’s taking the shame out of prostate cancer.
“Too many blokes are embarrassed to go and get checked or to take on hormone replacement therapy. What’s more important, your manlihood or your life?”
Brian is humbled by the support he has received and encourages anyone approaching 50 to have a blood test.
“It’s not talked about enough, but it’s terrible. I don’t want my four sons or any of my mates to go through what I’ve had to go through.”
To donate wood, money or a helping hand, give Brian a call on 0417 144 398.
With the help of friends and volunteers, Brian Britt is donating wood to families effected by cancer after his own diagnosis. Picture: Isaac Popowski.