The Walk to save your men

What is that noise?
That clanging, bongoing, and scratching?
It's enough to wake the dead!
We were walking along Cemetery Road, a motley group of men, women, and Peppa
the Pig (dog). There was a bongo drum, indeed. Maracca's, tambourines (we had a Salvo's
connection). And the infamous scratchy ball instrument played by our leader and Shed Health
Officer Ron Balderston. 
Why were we walking, on this starlit Friday evening, turning left onto Walker Street
and causing the local doggo’s to howl and woof? We were walking to save our men and your
men. Walking to keep ourselves active and healthy. Celebrating Men's Health Week by
walking for those lost to prostate cancer, a mental health issue, or poor life decisions.
Walking for those we don't want to lose. 
And as we traipsed through the business district, people carrying their takeaway or
shopping read our banner, Helensburgh Walk for Prostate Cancer.
Along for the walk was a lady whose uncle had died, as this disease progressed into
liver problems. 
Another lady, who had lost two relatives and two friends. 
There was a man who lost a good mate, too busy to get a simple test done, and then it
was too late.
And a survivor who just wanted to help get the message out. 
As we turned the corner into the Thistles soccer club, there, burning brightly, were
three lovely firepits ready to toast our bottoms and hands. And later, marshmallows! And just
over there, a gleam from treasured guitars bronzing their whiskery cheeks, were two musical
larrikins. David Oliphant, a local who loves repairing old guitars to gift to young music
students, who’s been there and done that, even given Jimi Hendrix a few tips. And alongside
him, in the blue Casey Jones hat, sat Dennis Aubrey, street player and busker of the world,
who hasn't had a real job in 50 years (Enjoy him and his band at this years Lions Country
Ron gets the crew together for a few piccies, and then – the soup is ready! No Soup
Nazi here! We troop into the Thistles lovely meeting room to grab a hot cup of goodness;
roast chicken, pea and ham, pumpkin (with artisan bread), and veggies from the lovely Nic.
Not forgetting the potato and leek! YUMMO.

One of your Mens Sheds Sponsors is Equilibrium Healthcare. It was great to hear Dr.
Trevor Kemper speak with us about guarding against the traps that befall men (and women),
which can wreck their health. Drink more water. Less (or no) alcohol. More exercise. Social
interaction. Talk with someone who will listen. Good nutrition. (i.e., soup). Regular health
check-ups. It was all there in his little speech. 
Try another cup of soup. A bit more bread. Then marshmallows on sticks came
around. It was almost like camping, but with soccer humming along on the pitch, where the
Thistles were playing against the top-of-the-table team.
Steve Carlisle is a big chap. He looks like a friendly bouncer. And when he does
something, he goes at it all or nothing. So, when he decides to exercise, its straight into the
half marathon. Training? Who needs training. And then the next day…. ooh, ahh, ooh. But
Steve knows we all need to keep ourselves healthy in spirit, soul, and body, and he shared
some good words with us. 
Several players and other club members popped along. They had a yarn around the
fires about their lives, mates, and health experiences. We talked with a chap and his wife who
do the Prostate Foundation Rally Adventure each year, traveling through the Outback to bring
the message to towns and stations they pass through.
This evenings walk, capping off Mens Health Week, will become an Annual Event in
the town, bringing messages of hope to those who need it. This year we raised almost $2000
with the help of the Prostate Foundations main Sponsors, Tyrepower, Hire a Hubby, and
Men – go and get the blood test done; its easy and will make your family happy. Go
on! Do it! PSA doesnt stand for Prevaricating Silly Ass; its Prostate-Specific Antigen.
Please, do it for yourself.
Our heartfelt thanks to those who made this evening a success; Dr. Trevor Kemper,
Coles, Deb Loveday and Thistles soccer club, David Oliphant, Dennis Aubrey, the soup-
makers, the fire-maker, Rod Gruggen for the musical instruments, and Steve Carlisle.