John Hopkin’s cancer is incurable.
“You have a very enlarged prostate, you have advanced prostate cancer, your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes and bones,” describes John getting the diagnosis from his doctor.
He lives with that knowledge every day all the while raising a family, and carrying out his duties as CEO of the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce.
His life changed forever on June 21, 2018…the first day of summer.
John took it hard, asking “why” and “how did it (the cancer) get so far”.
He’s dealt with diabetes for years, taking up running to keep it under control.
When not under control one of the symptoms is trouble urinating, especially at night. When these symptoms resurfaced for John, while dealing with an injured knee, he just figured it was a combination of a lack of exercise and his diabetes…but he was wrong.
“This was one of the symptoms I should have jumped all over but I just didn’t know.”
Two things have changed for John since his diagnosis; family comes first, and he’s using his cancer diagnosis to remind men to get checked for prostate cancer.
“You don’t want to wait till it’s gone too far, like me!”
He has a whole new appreciation for the work staff at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency do.
“The people (at the Agency) who have to live and work with that (cancer patients) each and every day, in some ways they are the true heroes,” he says.
Encouraging men to get their prostate checked regularly is part of how John is fighting cancer.
His message is simple, “get checked, get checked, get checked!”
The other part is through music. John and a group of local Regina business leaders including Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere, Frank Hart Managing Director, TD Greystone Asset Management, Murad Al-Katib President and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, Steve Compton CEO of the Regina YMCA, and Dr. David Malloy former VP of Research at the U. of R. formed The Garage Band. They’ve come together for a night to remember on September 26, 2019 at the Conexus Arts Centre.
On that night The Garage Band is going to Rock Cancer in support of a new CT Simulator at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre.
For John being a part of the band and performing to raise money for cancer care in Saskatchewan is something he will never forget.
“My bandmates are outstanding individuals who have consistently given back to our community, province and country. When the opportunity came to give back by raising funds for a CT Simulator for the Allan Blair Cancer Center the band stood up to be counted, no one backed away which is a clear testament to the outstanding character of the individuals.”