A father’s job is to teach, guide and love his son.
For Port Macquarie local Jason Hilton one of the biggest impacts his father made on his life, was to save it.
Without his father suggesting he be tested for prostate cancer, he would not be taking on his first Ironman at Sunday’s Toyota IRONMAN Australia.
“Our family was caring for my late father, who had terminal cancer, when he suggested I go and have a check up on my prostate as the cancer had been connected to my father through his side of the family.
“I had the normal bloods done and digit test which all suggested I head to a specialist for further testing. I had a biopsy which confirmed I had early stage prostate cancer at the age of 44.
“My specialist wished to monitor me for a period of time, however all the test results showed my PSA (prostate-specific antigen are a protein produced exclusively by prostate cells) were still climbing. He suggested I have a second biopsy which confirmed that all was not going well and some big decisions needed to be made.
“I had a radical prostate removal on April 10 last year, which took me some time to get back on track.”
In April this year Hilton’s doctor reported that his PSA levels had been stable for six months.
Now recovering from the rigours cancer put his body through, he’s returning the favour with his first Ironman.
“I love the feeling triathlon gives you when you cross the finish line (no matter the distance) and also the cheers you get from complete strangers, family and friends. Our family has also volunteered for many years for Ironman Australia and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie. I’ve always been in awe of these competitors.”
After a tough couple of years Hilton is looking forward to crossing that mythical finish line, and is expecting it to be an emotional moment.
“I’ll probably be very emotional knowing I cannot get that hug from my dad, but my mum and all my family will be there, so plenty of hugs from all,” he said.
“I will also very proud of my achievements and will power to overcome some setbacks in a short time frame and keeping focused.”