Finding connection and raising awareness: Roy’s story about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men. 1 in 9 Canadian men will hear the words, “you have prostate cancer,” in their lifetime – and for Roy, those words came when he was 53 years old.

Roy's story

In the face of his cancer diagnosis, Roy was determined to approach his journey with positivity. However, when he was told the cancer had metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), he couldn’t help but feel fear.

“After I was first told I had cancer, I told my kids that it was no big deal, that they could do surgery or radiation therapy,” shared Roy. “Then, I had to tell them it was advanced, and that hit me pretty hard, I have to admit.”

Beyond his family, Roy was hesitant to share the news of his diagnosis, initially keeping his extended circle small with just very close friends. For Roy and many others faced with a diagnosis, talking about cancer isn’t easy. It can be hard to know what to say and to predict how others will react.

But we know it can be good to talk. It can help you understand your own emotions and feel more in control. It can make your relationships stronger and help people understand what you’re going through. It can also be an important first step to getting support – just like it was for Roy.

As Roy learned more about his diagnosis, he turned to the Canadian Cancer Society website and a local prostate cancer support group. Feeling informed and with a peer support group to talk to, Roy opened up and has since become a passionate advocate for prostate cancer awareness.

Roy sitting on the step of his home holding his dog. He has blue dyed hair and is wearing blue clothes.

Providing support to others

Determined to share his story, Roy turned to the Canadian Cancer Society’s nationwide support system and discovered a way to connect with people who needed the same support he found so helpful on his journey. This is when he came across our online community,

“I read about and saw that it had all these online groups and discussions for all different types of cancer. There was one for prostate cancer, one for men only, another for advanced cancer,” shared Roy. “I immediately created a profile and sent it in, and since then, whenever there’s a new member with prostate cancer they’re pointed my way. I’ve done that 4 or 5 times now, answered questions about prostate cancer from someone new.”

Sharing his passion for prostate cancer awareness

Roy doesn’t just support fellow people with prostate cancer through the online community, he is also a very active participant in Plaid for Dad, a Canadian Cancer Society initiative that raises funds for groundbreaking prostate cancer research and helps support those living with prostate cancer and their families.

"Plaid for Dad creates a sense of community and brings people together to share and celebrate the stories of people affected by prostate cancer while raising funds to support those on their cancer journey," said Roy. "I asked my friends to get their offices involved. After one day, we had around 45 people take pictures of themselves wearing plaid and many who were raising funds."

On June 18 you can join Roy by going Plaid. For every plaid photo on social media with the hashtag #PlaidForDad, $5 will be donated by Janssen (up to $20,000). An act as simple as sharing your photo on social media will help make a difference in the lives of those affected by prostate cancer.