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movember

PROSTABLOG NZ: Moustaches or blue paint? What works best when it comes to helping prostate cancer patients?

This may be a dilemma for NZ’s generous public as two Australian-based organisations go up against one another in annual Kiwi campaigns to get attention – and money – for the world’s most devious killer of men.

Marketing company (MWC Media) has just completed Blue September, which has just run for the second time here.

Seemingly unique to NZ and Australia, Blue September uses celebrities, blue paint on faces, clever branding, media events and photo-ops to raise the profile of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ, a bunch of mostly volunteer prostate cancer survivors and their families.

The other is charitable organisation  Movember. It hooked up with the Foundation in 2006 and in two years raised more than $2 million for the foundation’s coffers.

But in 2008 it switched its benevolent aim to the Cancer Society of NZ and the Mental Health Foundation.

Also big in Australia, the US, Canada and the UK, Movember is in the process of launching once again for next month.

This week, it got national press and web attention with the announcement of a survey it had done on how poorly men look after their health (no details of the sample size, who did the survey, etc, were released, going by the media reports).

Movember began as the 2003 brainwave of four Aussie blokes and has since grown into a global operation which raises funds for the US Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Charity in Britain, and the Cancer Council in Australia.

Australia and NZ seem to be the only countries where there are two prostate awareness campaigns running closely together (separated by October).

Who raises what, who gets the money and what’s it spent on?

This writer knows the answers so far as the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation is concerned (I was a board member for a couple of month).

They were published here in August, when we provided an account of the foundation’s annual results released at its annual meeting in late July.

What about the Cancer Society of NZ, the 50% beneficiary of Movember (it’s unclear how the Mental Health Foundation got into the act, but we have asked Movember. There has been a delay because earlier this month its NZ website was not working)?

Some questions were put to Dalton Kelly, the Cancer Society’s CEO, who readily provided detailed answers today.

Here’s what we asked, and here’s what he said:

Hello Jim – thank you for your email.

We are very happy to share our involvement with Movember and the funding we have received from them. We have very detailed project plans and accounting processes, which we use to report back to Movember on a regular basis, so I can do this straight away for you.

How much did the Cancer Society receive from the Movember organisers last year?

The Cancer Society received 50% of funds raised from the 2008 Movember Campaign. The Mental Health Foundation was the recipient of the other 50%.

What was that money spent on?

The money was divided into a three-way split – one third research, one third for regional projects and one third for national projects.

The research share was awarded in our last grants round to two projects:

To improve the health and quality of life of prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy by programmed physical activity

Dr Justin Keogh and Dr Daniel Shepherd, School of Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland. Money from this grant round will be used by the investigator to explore how to best get men with prostate cancer into exercise programmes and how they may stay in it. Men on hormone treatment for prostate cancer lose some strength and exercise may reverse this.

RADAR prostate cancer trial

The biggest prostate cancer trial in Australasia has been running since 2007. Associate Professor David Lamb, based in Wellington, is investigating how long to use hormone therapy in prostate cancer, and whether the side effectives of treatment (osteoporosis) could be reduced by the use of bone-hardening drugs (bisphosphonates).

So far the regional budget has been awarded to eight regional projects:

  • Field Days – men’s health with a focus on prostate cancer – Waikato.
  • Developing a resource being a hardware education tool for prostate cancer – Central Districts.
  • Men’s Health Challenge brochure delivered to the RFU – Taranaki Centre.
  • Workplace-based men’s health initiative with a focus on prostate cancer (with an intention it will be developed into a national model) – Wellington
  • A prostate cancer support project to visit rural areas using kaumatua who have had prostate cancer to talk to the men/women and also a project with all the Rotary Clubs focusing on prostate cancer – Gisborne/East Coast.
  • What do men want? A series of focus groups asking men about how they want information about prostate cancer delivered to them – booklets, advertising, and also reviewing the Cancer Society’s current prostate cancer literature for suitability – Auckland.
  • Hawkes Bay A&P Show – Men’s Warrant of fitness

National Office has spent some of its allocation on the Men’s Health Challenge – targeting organisations such as the Defence Forces, Fire and Police Service where the employees are largely men.

What proportion was spent on prostate cancer?

All the money has been spent on prostate cancer in the sense that all the projects have a focus on prostate cancer and there is a component in every activity addressing prostate cancer.

In addition the projects promote reducing risks behaviours – such as not smoking, eating well and exercising -as we see these as an important aspect of public education.

What amount do you expect to receive this year?

We don’t really have any idea – we have not made any projections.

What will this year’s proceeds be spent on?

We plan to repeat the exercise of one third to research, one third to regional projects (which there will be a grant round again for) and one third to developing national programmes and resources focusing on prostate Cancer

What proportion of the overall sum raised by Movember is given to your society?

Once expenses are taken out, the Cancer Society receives half the money in conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation.

How much did the society receive from the Rowing For Prostate team in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race? I understand you agreed to be a beneficiary of that. The team apparently raised 24,000 pounds for the UK Prostate Cancer Charity.

The Rowing for Prostate Team approached the Cancer Society of New Zealand to ask us to be a beneficiary for this fundraiser in New Zealand.

Initially, as was Movember, the Rowing for Prostate team had aligned itself to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Both organisations found it very difficult to work with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and approached us instead.

We felt the project had a great deal of merit in that the boys were very high profile, committed to spreading the word about prostate cancer and were good role models in terms of living healthy lives.

At this stage we do not know the amount we will receive from this fundraising event.

On this last question – how much came from the four English expats living in NZ who made up the Rowing For Prostate (RFP) team – Prostablog can assist to a small degree.

We found an English fundraising organisation called Just Giving that handled the RFP fundraising, which involved some radio stations in Auckland and a Rowing For Prostate website (now gone).

It says the rowers’ target was £24,000.00 ($NZ51,827.43), its main beneficiary is the UK Prostate Cancer Charity, and the target was slightly exceeded (£24,145.03 raised so far).

Prostablog has emailed the website to ask how much of the money is coming back to the NZ Cancer Society, but so far there is no reply.

A similar request made to the organisers of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race referred us to the Rowing For Prostate team, but our inquiry some weeks ago has drawn no response.

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AUGUST 1: PROSTABLOG NZ: The great Indian Ocean Rowing Race is finally over, with the last crew crossing the finishing line in Mauritius yesterday.

The British pairs crew was the sixth and final boat to complete the 3132km row from Western Australia.

The race website reported:

At 1226Hrs GMT today (July 31), young Britons James Thysse and James Facer-Childs, both aged just 22, from Berkshire completed the inaugural Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, becoming the youngest ever Pairs crew to do so.

The Row For Prostate fours crew from New Zealand finished on July 9 and was awarded second place.

Prostablog has twice requested information from the Rowing For Prostate organisation on how much money the four raised for prostate cancer, and who will get it.

So far, no reply.

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JULY 18: PROSTABLOG NZ:  “Apologies it has taken me so long to put finger to keyboard and update you on the goings on within the RFP team,” writes one of the crew (unnamed) from Rowing For Prostate, following the team’s epic 81-day row across the Indian Ocean.

“But since arriving on the cherished lands of Mauritius, I have had to undergo various physical and mental repairs, which have sadly meant it has been a tad difficult to get to a computer, let alone to type anything even slightly legible.

“Thankfully the local hospitality, coupled with the repair work from the local medics has confirmed my ailments are not terminal and both body and mind are now well on the way to full recovery so i thought it high time I gave you an insight in to our final few hours at sea, and the highly anticipated arrival on the fair shores of Mauritius…”

READ MORE> on the Rowing For Prostate website.ProstateBoysMAIN1

Prostablog has asked how much the effort raised for prostate cancer and who will get the money, but so far no response from the Rowing For Prostate organisers.

It seems from earlier publicity that prostate cancer organisations in the UK will benefit, as well as those in New Zealand (although, not the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ).

No doubt we will hear something when they’ve had time to sort it out.

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ProstateBoysMAIN1

JULY 10: PROSTABLOG NZ:  IT might be the fourth boat over the finish line, but Rowing For Prostate (above) has indeed scored second place in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race.

ProstateBoysmain3That’s because the third crew home, the women’s four in Pura Vida, were blown north of Mauritius and couldn’t cross the official finish line, while the first crew in, the eights of Aud Eamus, was not an official entry in the race.

So that put second boat Bexhill Trust Challenger in first place, and the Rowing For Prostate lads (pictured below when they celebrated having 1000 miles of the 3132-mile race to row), who crossed the line fourth yesterday, in official second spot.

ProstateBoys1

Confused?

This will help: it’s what organisers’ spokesman Tony Humphreys said when we asked for an explanation:

There were 10 starters in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race, plus the out-of-class record attempt boat ‘Aud Eamus’.

Aud Eamus was the first boat to  arrive in Mauritius with the quickest crossing time but doesn’t qualify for  a race position as they were not an official race entry.

The next boat to arrive in Mauritius was ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ who were  the first race entry and having passed post-race scrutineering without  receiving any rule infringement penalties took first place.

The next boat to arrive in Mauritius was ‘Pura Vida’, who unfortunately due  to very strong southerly winds as they made their approach to Mauritius were  pushed north and were unable to cross the official race finish line.

As  such they do not qualify for a race position, however they did still manage  to cross the longitude of the finish line unaided, therefore still qualify  as the first all female team to row across the Indian Ocean unassisted.

Which the takes us to ‘Rowing For Prostate’ who were the forth boat to  arrive in Mauritius, and having successfully crossed the finish line have
provisionally been awarded second place.  Confirmation of their race ranking  will only be possible once their post-race scrutineering has been completed.

The race rules are designed with safety as the priority and contain the  penalty of dropping a race position should certain rules be infringed.

I trust this helps clarify the situation.

Thank you to the official race website for the pictures.

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mattJULY 10: PROSTABLOG NZ:  A capsize early in the race across the Indian Ocean cost the Kiwi rowers in Rowing For Prostate all their electronics, says one of the crew, Mat Hampel (right). He revealed this during an interview on Radio NZ’s Morning Report early today, a few hours after the boat made it to Mauritius after 81 days at sea. HEAR THE INTERVIEW>

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JULY 9: PROSTABLOG NZ:  It now seems certain the Rowing For Prostate crew today finished the Indian Ocean Rowing Race – but where they were placed remains something of a mystery.

Even though the Kiwi four was fourth boat over the line in Mauritius, the race website is hailing them as second place-getters.

Here’s what the site said in a media release a short time ago:

A New Zealand four man crew named ‘Rowing for Prostate’ today snatched second place in the inaugural Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009.  Against all the odds, the team, who lost contact with shore over a week ago, completed the last few hundred miles of the race under stealth mode.

Kiwis, Tom Wigram (31), Pete Staples (38), Billy Gammon (35) and Matt Hampel (34)  who were all born in the UK left Geraldton, Western Australia on 19 April 2009 together with nine other crews, all aiming to row a mammoth 3,132 nautical miles to the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.  At 0701GMT today, the Rowing for Prostate crew reappeared, rowing their 29ft long purposely built, composite ocean rowing boat proudly over the finish line after 81 days, 4 hours and one minute, and up to the Grand Bay Yacht Club, where their family and friends where eagerly waiting to greet them.

From that, it’s not clear where the eights, Aud Eamus, the men’s four Bexhill Trust, and the women’s four, Pura Vida, came in the race, even though all seemed to beat the Kiwis into port.

The Prostate team’s own website still hadn’t posted any news at 10pm NZ time tonight, its so-called “hot off the press” announcement still being the sighting of the crew a few days ago.

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JULY 8: PROSTABLOG NZ:  New Zealand boat Rowing For Prostate is within a day of finishing its epic 80+-day slog across the Indian Ocean and is expected to finish fourth tomorrow.

The Kiwi crew has been out of communication since June 26, but made contact with a passing ship on Monday.

The latest calculation had them just 75 miles out from Mauritius at 3pm GMT yesterday and making good progress (about 50 miles a day).row july 8

Meantime, third place-getters Pura Vida finished yesterday, becoming the first all-woman crew to row across the Indian Ocean.

The leading boats, eight-crew Aud Eamus and four Bexhill Trust both finished during the weekend before last (June 28/29).

The following messages have been posted on the official race website:

JULY 8: On 6th July at approximately 1700 GMT ‘Rowing For Prostate’ made contact with a passing ship using their VHF radio and requested their position be passed on to the Race Organisers together with a message confirming all was ok onboard and they were looking forward to arriving in Mauritius. The ship contacted the Mauritius Coast Guard and relayed the position information message, which was duly passed on the Woodvale Challenge.

The Support Vessel who were sailing down the estimated track of ‘Rowing For Prostate’ hoping to establish contact prior to their arrival in Mauritius were provided with the new position information, and at 1500 GMT they established VHF radio contact and obtained a further position update from the RFP Team.

The Team reported they had no serious electrical power issues, their VHF is working fine as is their navigation light. The Team also confirmed their EPIRB is intact and they have plenty of flares onboard. They were able to confirm they have no problems with steering/making their desired course and their GPS Plotter and paper charts providing details of the race finish line are all useable. Food has been further rationed but will last the course and all crew are in best physical condition as can be expected.

JULY 7: Four British women made history today by becoming the first ever all female crew to row across the vast, treacherous and unpredictable Indian Ocean by completing the inaugural Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009.

Sarah Duff (26), Fiona Waller (34), Jo Jackson (28) and Elin Haf Davis (32) left Geraldton, Western Australia on 19 April 2009 together with nine other crews, all aiming to row a mammoth 3,132 nautical miles to the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. At 1854GMT on Monday 06th July 2009, these four courageous ladies from London, nicknamed the Ocean Angels, victoriously rowed their 29ft long purposely built ocean rowing boat named ‘Pura Vida’ over the finish line, with an impressive crossing time of 78 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes.

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JULY 6: PROSTABLOG NZ: While Kiwi boat Rowing For Prostate probably (we don’t know for sure) has fewer than 200 miles to go in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race, the women’s four, Pura Vida reported in tonight with just 27 miles to go.

They will cross the finish line at Mauritius in the next 24 hours, nearly 80 days after the start and 3231 miles from Australia.

The women led the race for a week or so in the middle of the event, after charging ahead of the Bexhill Trust four, which finished second behind eights boat Aud Eamus more than a week ago. They’re now set to take third.

The Prostate rowers are expected into port towards the end of this week, and will take fourth place.

Their exact position is unclear after their communications technology failed late last month. They were spotted by an aircraft a few days ago.

Two other crews, both pairs, lie about 1000 miles back and will take a couple of weeks or more to finish.

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JULY 3: TVNZ: The Rowing for Prostate charity crew who had lost contact with race organisers in the Indian Ocean several days ago are safe and well. READ MORE>

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JULY 1: PROSTABLOG NZ: NZ four Rowing for Prostate have done what every man with prostate problems probably wishes would happen to his prostate – disappeared.

However, no fears are held for the crew of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race entry, due to arrive in Mauritius next week in fourth place.

A statement on the race website was picked up by media overnight, making the race and its prostate entry prominent news for the past day.

The website’s theory is Prostate’s only remaining means of communication, a satellite phone, can no longer be charged, and since the (separate) satellite tracker gave up some weeks ago, there is no way for the crew to check in.

Race organisers have despatched the support boat to Prostate’s last known position.

row July1The website progress map still has them with 553 miles to go, the position they reported during last contact on Friday.

If they maintain their average of about 35 miles a day, they probably have about 400 miles to go to the finish line, which was crossed at the weekend by leading boats Aud Eamus (eight) and Bexhill Trust Challenger (four) after 70 days.

Third-placed boat, Pura Vida, had fewer than 200 miles to row when they reported in this morning.

Here’s the official website statement about the “missing” prostate rowers:

Some time ago the satellite tracking unit on boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostate’ ceased to work. Since that time the team has been using their Satellite telephone to text and email their position every 12 hours to Race HQ, which was then manually entered to update the website ‘Progress Page’.

The Team had reported that their satellite telephone was not taking charge and using the phone was becoming more problematic. They were of the opinion it was only a matter of time before their satellite phone stopped working. It would now appear their prediction was right and since Friday 26th June the Team have been unable to make contact and Race HQ has been unable to contact the boat.

As frustrating and concerning as it is not to have an accurate position for the boat, there is nothing to suggest the boat has any other problem that may explain the lack of communication other than a satellite phone that is no longer working.

The comprehensive Race Rules require that each boat carries an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) together with a 406MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), both of which transmit a ‘May Day’ message via satellite, and if the Team were in any kind of trouble, or danger they would active one or both of these devices.

It maybe possible the Team can contact a passing ship using their VHF radio and request their position is passed on to Race HQ. The Support Vessel is currently on its way to ‘Rowing For Prostates’ last reported position and will sail down the anticipated track of the boat in the hope of locating them by either visual identification, VHF radio or by picking the boat up on their AIS () transceiver.

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