Sydney Rays hooker Damien Fitzpatrick will have some extra motivation this weekend, as the NRC goes blue to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
NRC players from every home side will don blue socks in round two and referees will wear blue jerseys as part of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia’s #Pass4Prostate campaign.
Fitzpatrick’s father was diagnosed with the disease five years ago and the former Waratah said every man should be vigilant in ensuring they have regular checks.
“Prostate cancer is a very real threat to every male at some point in life,” he said.
“My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer about five years ago after a regular examination and at the time, doctors thought they had caught it early enough.”
“But a few months post-operation we discovered that the cancer had spread, even though they believed it had been detected very early on. Dad has since undergone radiotherapy and thankfully has been in remission since.
“If it wasn't for Dad's routine check-up, who knows how this story may have ended.
“Prostate cancer is incredibly fast spreading so I highly recommend all men in the age bracket to take it seriously and organise regular check ups."
Fitzpatrick’s story is far from a rare one, with 3,300 men dying from prostate cancer each year, a higher number than women who die from breast cancer.
The #pass4prostate campaign goes well beyond the NRC, though, with fans encouraged to upload pictures of themselves passing a football to social media with the hashtag.
For each photo, cancer treatment company Astellas Pharma Australia will contribute $5 to PCFA to aid prostate cancer research.
More information on the campaign can be found at: www.pass4prostate.org