Deniliquin businessman Paul Fellows is urging men to ‘‘get up and get checked’’ in order to look after their health.
The Fellows Bulk Transport owner said he had his own ‘‘wake-up call’’ after watching some close family members suffer through their own health issues.
At that stage he decided he should monitor his own health. He was encouraged by his brother-in-law Michael Rennie to visit the Epworth Men’s Clinic in Melbourne for an a check-up, which he now does each year.
Mr Fellows bravely stood up and pleaded with other men to do the same at a Men’s Health Week event held at the Deniliquin Rams clubrooms on Tuesday night, where Carlton premiership coach David Parkin was a guest speaker.
‘‘I turned 50 and thought it was time to go get a check-up,’’ Mr Fellows said.
‘‘So I went down to the Epworth clinic and they did blood tests, checked my blood pressure, checked my prostate and checked my body for skin cancers.
‘‘Because my Dad had a heart attack when he was 52 they also did an MRI on my chest.
‘‘My family also has a history of bowel cancer and my cousin Max passed away due to the disease.
‘‘Max was a great guy who was always working and was always too busy to get a check-up, which unfortunately led to his passing.’’
The Epworth Men’s Clinic was started by Dr Paul Arduca about 40 years ago.
Dr Arduca started the clinic after seeing a high number of men dying when aged in their 40s-60s from preventable diseases.
‘‘I’ve actually become pretty good friends with Dr Arduca after visiting him over the years,’’ Mr Fellows said.
‘‘I feel comfortable that I can talk to him about anything, but people can get checked locally if they like.’’
Mr Fellows said he was encouraged by Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia environmental projects manager Neil Bull to share his story on the night.
Mr Bull organised the Men’s Health Week event on behalf of the RGA.
‘‘Neil asked me a few weeks ago if I’d speak, and I said I would if he needed me to,’’ Mr Fellows said.
‘‘We’d previously spoken about me having regular check-ups.
‘‘I asked him on Tuesday whether he was all sorted with speakers and he said, ‘yes’, so when he invited me on the night to speak I was as surprised as everyone else.
‘‘I hassle my mates to go get checked out, and those who do agree that it’s nice to have that weight lifted off your shoulders.
‘‘I’ve had blokes tell me they’re sick, and after I tell them to go to the doctor quite often they say, ‘the doctor is for sooks’.
‘‘We need to have a change in attitude because it’s not just your life that gets affected, but it’s others around you, too.
‘‘You only get one chance at life so take the time to get checked.’’