LAST Friday the Male Bag Foundation presented a cheque to Ballarat Health Services (BHS) for the purchase and commissioning of a new Transperineal Grid Biopsy Machine for diagnosing the prostate.
The Male Bag Foundation came from humble beginnings about 5 years ago when two guys were discussing men’s health issues and posed the question, ‘What can we do to improve men’s lives and contribute something worthwhile to the community?’
A committee was formed, prostate cancer was discussed and the Male Bag Ride – blokes on ex post office motor bikes became a reality.
To date approximately $725,000 has been raised form three bike rides. Male Bag Foundation patron and prostate cancer survivor David Parkin was in Ballarat for the unveiling. He spoke about his diagnosis and treatment and his involvement with the Male Bag Foundation.
“It’s been a fantastic idea, the running and organisation has been even better and the fact that we have been able to raise so much money and to be looking at this machine now is very satisfying,” Mr Larkin said.
Mr Parkin’s long time friend and co-coordinator for the Male Bag Foundation, Ballaarat businessman Peter Stevens, said his involvement with prostate cancer commenced when he witnessed Mr Parkin’s journey from diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
“I felt this insidious disease required special attention and support,” Mr Stevens said.
The Male Bag Foundation is a registered charity and can accept donations that are tax deductible from the public. All funds raised go to prostate cancer medical intervention. Its members are volunteers who fund their own participation in the fund raising activities of the foundation, therefore allowing all monies raised to go to prostate cancer issues.
Last October Mr Stevens spoke at a prostate cancer survivors meeting and was impressed with the message from Gay Corbett, carer nurse at BHS.
“The urology department urgently needed a new machine that would make diagnosis of the prostate less invasive to patients,” he said.
“However the funding for such a machine was not available and it would be some ears before they would have raised sufficient funds for the purchase.” Further discussion with Urologists confirmed the need for a new machine as current technology and treatment caused needless pain, suffering and infections to patients, some of whom would not return for ongoing treatment. MR Stevens met with the committee of the Male Bag Foundation the following day and put the case for the Foundation to fund the purchase from the upcoming Male Bag Ride around Victoria.
“It was agreed unanimously to support this practical demonstration of commitment to prostate cancer wellness,” Mr Stevens said. The machine will cost $160,000 to purchase with the Male Bag Foundation making a donation of $60,000 towards the cost.