Into the deep blue sea

23:45, Sep 30 2012
Blue streak
HAPPY TO BE BLUE: Steffan Eden as the Blue Streak, of Placemakers Richmond at the Blue September 600 metre Sea Swim.

Residents touched by cancer dived into the deep end at the weekend, hoping to help men fight off prostate cancer.

About 80 men and women braved chilly waters to take part in The Great 600m Sea Swim Dash for Prostate Cancer in Nelson on Saturday. Dozens of supporters at the PlaceMakers-sponsored event next to Nelson Yacht Club, encouraged swimmers who were raising money for Prostate Cancer - the third most common cause of cancer deaths in New Zealand.

A man dressed as the Blue Streak was also encouraging men to get regular prostate checks for the disease which kills 600 men a year.

Nelson resident Andrew Bygraves said his father was living proof that getting regular checks was lifesaving. His father was diagnosed with prostate cancer about two years ago, but because it was caught early on, his treatment was a success and he was now in remission.

"I realise it's something that at my age I need to start doing," the 38-year-old English expatriate said.

Swimmer Christina Harris emphasised the same message for regular checks to beat cancer.

The Nelson woman said it was something she learnt was vital after cancer spread through her family - her father died of appendix cancer, her sister had survived breast cancer and her mother-in-law was in hospice dying of cancer.

"Just go to the doctor and get anything suspicious and get your regular cancer checks. I'm on regular checks because it's in my family."

Event organiser Peter Gibbs was pleaed with the turnout and said $2407 was raised.