Ken Kelly

Community leader opens up about prostate cancer

When your body doesn't feel right, it's a sign that something is wrong. That motto is something Ken Kelly is all too familiar with.

When your body doesn’t feel right, it’s a sign that something is wrong. That motto is something Ken Kelly is all too familiar with.

Kelly, a prominent member of the local community and general manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA), was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Two years ago, he went to his family doctor for an annual medical check up, which required routine blood tests.

However, the tests revealed his prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland, had increased significantly. He was eventually sent to a urologist for a biopsy. Though nothing was detected, Kelly’s PSA continued to rise and he was experiencing discomfort below the belt.

“I’m going ‘look, I’m concerned about this’,” Kelly said.

In November, after a third biopsy and the use of an advanced ultrasound that had just come to Vancouver Island, doctors were finally able to diagnose Kelly with prostate cancer.

“Because it had been spread over a long period of time, it was shock combined with relief,” Kelly said about the diagnosis. “I could feel there was something the matter with me.”

Earlier this year, Kelly left the DVBA for two months on medical leave to have a radical prostatectomy, in which the doctor removed his prostate and surrounding lymph nodes.

Though he’s not completely cancer free yet, Kelly is sharing his story in hopes it will encourage other men to get checked.

“Society is so much more open in so many respects than it ever has been and yet there is the cloak of mystery around serious illness and death. It’s so important that as we walk life’s road, we share that with each other and learn from each other,” he said, adding his wife Jo-Ann Roberts and their four children helped him get through the challenging journey.

“Cancer can be beaten . . . that requires being your own advocate and staying positive.”

Kelly is also taking part in the sixth annual Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live this weekend, where hundreds of men, friends and family who have been affected by prostate cancer, will ride from Odgen Point to the Viscount Aero Centre by the Victoria airport to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer is still one of these diseases that not a lot of men are comfortable talking openly about, but it’s a disease that’s affecting a lot of men in our community,” said Leanne Kopp, executive director of the Island Prostate Centre, estimating more than 800 men on Vancouver Island were affected by a diagnosis of prostate cancer last year.

“By men sharing their own stories, it allows men to say ‘we’re good to talk about this, it’s nothing we should be afraid of’. Let’s start talking about it.”

Kopp expects between 300 to 400 men and families will participate in the ride. The goal is to raise $75,000.

The funds raised go towards local research initiatives and to the Island Prostate Centre to help fund support programs and Men’s Health Day, where they provide free PSA tests to men in the community.

The ride begins at 10 a.m. at Ogden Point on Sunday, May 29 and is follow by a barbecue lunch and live entertainment at the Viscount Aero Centre. For more information visit viridetolive.ca.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patrol officers from VicPD’s Esquimalt division responded to a call about hateful graffiti in Macaulay Park Wednesday evening. (Black Press Media file photo)
Anti-Semitic, hate-based graffiti found in Esquimalt park

Police seek suspects after fresh hate-based graffiti found Wednesday evening

RCMP are trying to determine why a woman fled the scene of an accident in Sooke. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke RCMP search for driver who fled crash site

Police want to know why woman left

Samantha Lenz, resort manager for Oceanside RV Resort, says she continues to turn people away, who are looking for a permanent spot to winter on the Saanich Peninsula. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tourism operators hope Canadian Snowbirds flock to B.C.

Provincial tourism industry hopes to compensate ‘monumental financial losses and hardship’

Victoria City Council approved two new affordable housing developments during its Oct. 22 council meeting. (Courtesy of Victoria City Council)
Victoria approves 72 new affordable housing units

Council approved new developments at 736 Princess Ave. and 330 Michigan St.

Victoria police are asking for people's help identifying the suspect of a sexual assault that occurred early Oct. 29. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD searching for suspect in sexual assault incident

A woman was sexually assaulted at the 800-block of Cormorant Street just before 4 a.m. Oct. 29

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Adam Ireton holds his son Weston, along with Kristen and Beckett as they celebrate Weston's last day of treatment for lukemia. (Kristen Ireton photo)
799 days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

‘Weston is disease-free now, so we will be going into a period of checkups and things until he’s 18’

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read