Health check a real life saver

31 July, 2015
In July, former Tasmanian quick Roger Brown went under the knife to remove an aggressive form of prostate cancer, after his doctor noticed some irregularities during a routine blood test.

After undergoing four years of regular blood tests due to a prostate infection, Roger's GP became concerned with some of the results and referred him to a specialist last year, where they discovered the cancer.

Roger then flew to Melbourne for further tests, which revealed he had grade seven prostate cancer, prompting him to put immediate plans in place for the surgery to be undertaken.

The fact that we caught this really early means I was able to get the positive result I've got.

Roger Brown

This was originally scheduled to take place some 15 months after the cancer was first discovered, so the Brown family decided to get things moving and pay for the surgery themselves.

With hospital bills mounting, Roger decided to contact Tasmanian Past Player Game and Personal Development Manager Nick Courtney, who referred him to Clea Smith and Kristen Beams in the ACA office in an attempt to take some financial pressure off the Browns.

Up until that point they were a significant sum out-of-pocket.

After some consultation with the ACA, all Roger's hospital visits were covered but it was the $2000 from the hospital benefits fund that helped Roger and his family out the most.

The ACA's assistance of Roger has now totalled $2500, for which he couldn't be more thankful.

"It's really helpful because after enduring a quite stressful and painful time you are hit with a whole lot of bills, so to have some financial assistance certainly helps with the recovery from the whole experience," he said.

Roger urges fellow ACA members to take advantage of similar services the association provides.

"Whether you're out of pocket $1000 or $50,000, every cent that you can get towards paying that back is worth the effort," he said.

Recent blood tests showed that he is in the clear and on the road to a full recovery.

"I can't thank the ACA enough. We're very grateful and appreciate the assistance immensely," he said.

Roger also couldn't be more adamant of the importance of mature men being checked for prostate cancer.

"In my opinion, it's something every male aged over 40 should be doing. I've always had my prostate checked and it saved my life.

"The fact that we caught this really early means I was able to get the positive result I've got," Brown said.

The Past Player Personal Development Program is made possible by a donation from the current male players. It’s intention is to support each and every ACA member in their post-cricket lives.

New South Wales Past Player Game and Personal Development Manager (and former Australian all-rounder) Greg Matthews sang the praises of the current male playing group, who provided the funds with the use of money stemming from the recent Cricket World Cup.

“It’s not just about the hard times. It’s about looking out for each other. The current male players respect what we’ve all put in to the game, that’s why they’ve put the money up for this Program," Matthews said.

The all-year round Medical Support Fund Detail offers $500 support to all members for hospital visits and an additional $2000 worth of support for major operations and procedures if required.

It is available for operations in the past 12 months so members who could potentially benefit should contact the ACA office or their State Coordinator for more details.

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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