Jimmy takes on 10k with his consultant

As part of our Power of Friends series, we chatted with 69 year old Jimmy Greene from Cladybeg in Armagh who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August last year. Since being diagnosed, Jimmy has been under the care of Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Consultant Oncologist, Dr Suneil Jain.  This is Jimmy’s story.

“When the GP suggested a check-up, I initially thought that all would be ok.  Even when he suggested referring me, I still wasn’t unduly concerned, as I hadn’t been experiencing any of the classic symptoms.  I then met with the consultant who wanted a biopsy.  Now things were becoming more serious, and I started to think “what if”.  For my next meeting, I was very nervous and when I received the results my immediate concerns were about treatment.  Although he couldn’t tell me what my specific treatment would be, he reassured me and told me what treatment options were available and what the next steps might be.”

Getting started

Jimmy was referred to see Dr Suneil Jain, Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Consultant Oncologist at the Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital.  After discussing treatment options, Jimmy was deemed to be a suitable candidate for a new clinical trial being carried out by Dr Jain called the SPORT Trial.  The trial involves stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy, or SABR, which allows specialists to treat prostate cancer with high doses of radiation delivered with fewer treatment sessions.  This meant that Jimmy received 5 sessions of radiotherapy compared to a more standard approach which can consist of up to 39 sessions.

“When I met with Suneil he initially gave me three options for treatment and one of them was a trial called the SPORT trial.  I was happy with Suniel’s assessment that it might suit me and the much quicker treatment plan than normal was a big advantage.  I was kept well informed about the process throughout and met with Suniel and his colleagues frequently for check-ups and assessments, which has been a great source of support and reassurance.”

Family support

Jimmy’s family proved to be a vital source of support throughout his treatment.  As well as his children Paul, Kevin, Gemma, Seamus, Anna, Pat, Maura and Philip, Jimmy is also the proud grandad to 20 grandchildren and they all rallied together to help out.

“I’m very lucky to have a big family around me and they have all been very supportive and reassuring.  My daughter, Gemma was able to take me to and from appointments and sat in on some consultations, providing advice on occasion.  It would have been tough to do this on my own, but I always had people asking how I was or if I needed anything.”

Giving back

Dr Jain also proved to be a great source of support for Jimmy, helping him feel at ease throughout his treatment.  They got on so well in fact that after Jimmy finished his treatment, they both took part in the Lisburn 10k run together.

“I have been a runner all my life and still run 3 times a week.  Way back at the start of my treatment, I told Suneil that when I came out the other side I’d do a 10K run to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre.  He told me that if I did it, he’d do it with me.  I also suggested the idea to my own family and Paul and Philip (the eldest and youngest of the family) agreed to take part.  So on 21st June this year, we all got together with Suneil and his wife, Anita to take on the Lisburn 10k.  Due to the recent warm weather, it was a tough run.  It was very humid, with little or no breeze and the course had its fair share of hills.  But I did the run in a pretty respectable time and finished in one piece!  We also raised a considerable amount and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me.”

Jimmy is pictured above (centre) with his sons Paul and Philip, along with Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Consultant Oncologist, Dr Suneil Jain and his wife Anita.

“It was a great moment and it felt like a very positive and poignant way to mark the end of a tough few months.  I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my family and I’m very grateful to Friends of the Cancer, as well as all the wonderful people who support the charity, for funding Suneil’s post and his research work as it’s made a big difference to my experience.  Thank you.”

Jimmy got through his treatment thanks to the support from his incredible family and the great care he received from Dr Jain.  Dr Jain’s post and his vital work in the SPORT Trial simply wouldn’t be possible without your support and friendship. Every penny you donate helps Friends of the Cancer Centre support people like Jimmy.  If you would like to support our work you can make a donation here or why not show a friend how much they mean to you by dedicating a virtual cuppa to them here.

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