Turning Beaudesert Blue

Judy Day and June Herbohn.
Judy Day and June Herbohn.

Beaudesert is blanketed in blue crochet and bunting flags for the month of September to remind men to get their prostate checked.

Volunteers from the Beaudesert branch of Cancer Council Queensland have been busy covering park benches and streetlights, trees and awnings in blue as a conversation starter to save lives.

Turning Beaudesert Blue is an initiative the local branch has developed in recent years to mark Prostate Cancer Month in September.

There is also a poem doing the rounds, penned by volunteer Judy Day:

To the Men of Beaudesert:

If you look around our town, you’ll see it’s turning blue.

September is Prostate Cancer Month and we’re doing it for you.

So please take some notice – there’s not a lot to do.

Man-up and have a blood test, it’s over now to you!

There’s no time like the present, so before you get in strife,

Please get your prostate checked out, it might just save your life.

– Judy Day, Cancer Council Beaudesert branch volunteer.

Judy said it was important to keep the conversation going, and many conversations happened in the privacy of people’s homes.

“Men can be very, ‘I don’t need this’, and the women seem to do the talking, but if we save one life it’s worthwhile – it’s about awareness,” she said.

Fellow volunteer June Herbohn said it was relevant to everyone.

“We all know someone who’s touched by cancer, and this month is about prostate cancer, but it’s important to be checked for every kind of cancer, whether it’s prostate or breast cancer, skin checks, any of the cancers,” she said.

Judy and June, like the other volunteers who helped with Turning Beaudesert Blue, have personal reasons for giving their time.

“Well cancer has touched our family, we lost Tracey (daughter) to cancer, and I’ve had two lots of cancer myself and come through it,” Judy said.

The matter is also particularly close to home for June.

“My husband died from a brain tumour and that for me is a big deal, and I’ve lost brothers to liver cancer and prostate cancer, so we’ve all been affected in some way,” she said.

“There’s not a family that hasn’t experienced it somehow.”

The women said being involved gave them a sense of empowerment.

“Being involved, you hear about all the things they’re doing now, the research is amazing and gives us a sense of hope,” said June.

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