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Conquering Cancer Quinlan Style

By Jessica Issa on March 14, 2013 in Other

Photo: Grant Brooks

Known to many as the hunky lifeguard ‘Gonzo’ from the hit reality TV show Bondi Rescue, Troy Quinlan is swapping his surfboard for racing gloves in the name of cancer awareness this month.

Gonzo will be challenging Bondi Rescue co-star Trent ‘Maxi’ Maxwell to a hot-lap car race as part of the Cancer Council’s Mate V Mate fundraising event this March.

Mate V Mate is the first event of its kind and it will see NSW men taking each other on in their chosen challenges, backed by their mates and family to win.

Gonzo and Maxi will be racing each other in the ‘Star In A Reasonably Priced Car’ race at the Top Gear Festival Sydney on March 10.
Gonzo’s family have unfortunately experienced the devastating effects of cancer first hand. Gonzo lost his grandparents to melanoma and prostate cancer and his father Brian, better known as ‘Quincy’, was recently diagnosed with the same two diseases.

Brian told The Beast that he was proud of his son’s efforts to raise awareness about men’s cancer in Australia.

“The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is out-stripping the number of women with breast cancer,” Brian said. “The awareness is coming out now after being closeted for years. Men just don’t want to talk about it.” The aim of Gonzo’s involvement in Mate V Mate is to get men talking about the risk of cancer.

“This event is a really fun and exciting way to get the message out there about men’s cancer awareness. My dad’s situation has given me the extra push to get involved,” he said.

Brian has also been actively raising awareness.

“I’ve chosen to participate with the Cancer Council by helping them with the research. I’ve offered samples to help gather statistics,” he added.

The Cancer Council’s statistics show Australian men are 84% more likely than women to die of cancers that are common to both sexes and are less likely to visit the doctor.

When asked why men often avoided the doctor, both Gonzo and his father thought that it was because they’d rather do something else. Funnily enough, Gonzo suggested that they’d rather go surfing while Brian thought that they’d rather go to the pub!

But when it comes to health check ups these days, both Quinlans said that they’d happily pass up an arvo at the beach or a night at the boozer for a date with the doc.

“It shouldn’t have to take something as serious as what’s happened to Dad to motivate men to be active. You might think it’ll never happen to you but it could come out of nowhere, which was the case with Dad. The more you delay getting checked, the less chance you have of getting it early,” Gonzo said.

“Many men are scared to get a prostate check, but I definitely encourage it. Since Dad’s situation, I’m definitely going to get tested,” he added.

According to the Cancer Council, one in two men in Australia will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they’re 85.

“It doesn’t matter how fit or healthy you think you are,” Gonzo emphasised. “Look at my dad – he’s crazy. Straight after his melanoma operation he went and did the Bondi to Bronte swim – he still had staples in his stomach. Then asked me if I wanted to do the Coogee island swim with him. Even if you’re fit, it could happen to you.”

Mate V Mate runs from March 16-24 and will be filled with men taking each other on in challenges like grudge golf, amateur footy, surfing and fishing. You can register your own challenge at www.matevmate.com.au.

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