26 Sep

Digital examinations ‘no big deal’ for men

 

Get checked: Celebrity gossip columnist David Hartnell has become an  ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand in memory of his friend Robert Young who died of prostate cancer

Get checked: Celebrity gossip columnist David Hartnell has become an ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand in memory of his friend Robert Young who died of prostate cancer

Spare your blushes, men, and get checked for prostate cancer.
That’s the message celebrity gossip columnist David Hartnell wants to get across during the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand awareness month.

The Westmere resident lost his best friend of more than 50 years, theatre director and choreographer Robert Young, to prostate cancer in December last year.

“The last six months of his life it just took hold. It is just unbelievable aggressive,” Hartnell says.

“He handled it with grace dignity and humour – I don’t know if I would have handled it as well as he did really.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand men. About 3000 are diagnosed and more than 600 die each year.

young announced he had terminal prostate cancer in 2012 in a bid to encourage men to get regular checkups.

“Too many men put off going to see their doctor. I wasn’t one of them, but I still got caught out.”

Men should undergo annual prostate specific antigen blood tests and digital rectal exams starting at age 45 or earlier.

Having the test could save your life, Hartnell says.

“Men just don’t talk about prostate cancer. The digital rectal exam still puts so many off getting tested but it’s a matter of seconds – it’s no big deal.”

Hartnell became an ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand this year in Young’s memory.

“I spent the last 10 days with Robert and I told him I was going to do something in regards to prostate cancer, so he knew before he died that I was going to do it for him.”

He is holding a celebrity trivia quiz night this month to raise funds for the foundation’s awareness campaign Blue September.

All funds raised will go towards supporting the foundation’s helplines, research and public education about prostate and testicular cancer.

The Sky Tower turned blue on Monday to mark the beginning of Blue September and will be lit up for the whole month to help raise awareness.

From Auckland City Harbour News Sept 2014

by Jess Lee

 

05 Sep

David Hartnell’s Blooming Surprise

David's Garden

When did your love of gardening begin?
When I lived in London back in the ’60s and had one little window box. I knew nothing about gardening then and not much more all these years later. I used to buy packets of seeds and sprinkle them into the window box. Nobody was more surprised than I when they grew and blossomed.

How did you learn the art of gardening?
Believe me, there is no art whatsoever in my gardening – it’s all hit and miss. In no way am I a slave to it. However, I do spend more time in my garden than a Kardashian marriage typically lasts. If I like a particular plant, I always buy two because I’m bound to kill one. But I do grow orchids on our deck and have a lot of success with them.

Why do you enjoy it?
Whenever I’ve had enough of everything, I head out out the garden. There is nothing more relaxing than having a scratch around it. Also, when you’ve finished, you can always see what you’ve done, which is really rewarding.

What’s your favourite plant in your garden?
I like agapanthus, even though people say they are motorway flowers. They remind me of Las Vegas showgirls’ head gear as they blow gently in the wind. I love their stark white and dark inky-blue colours. I also like cactus plants – they’re spiky on the outside and soft on the inside, rather like a gossip columnist. Over they years, I have had some amazing cactus flowers, which only last about 12 hours.

David's Garden

When is your favourite time of year in the garden?
Spring, when everything is about to burst forth. I have been known to stick the odd artificial flower in a pot or two in the garden during the winter months to give it a bit of colour.

Have you ever had a gardening disaster?
Does the Pope have a balcony? There are far too many to remember. I’m not a slave to my garden, so if it’s a disaster, I just suck it up and get on with it.

New Zealand Womam’s Weekly