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Fergus Brown: A personal message to industry

30 Nov 2021  By Contributor

Holiday Parks New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown, recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer, has a message for all the men in tourism.

Fergus Brown

Kia Ora Blokes,

I am writing this letter to encourage all men to go out and get tested for prostate cancer before Christmas.

Back in November 2019 I finally made time to visit my GP for a PSA blood test. I had been having issues with having to get up through the night for the past year or so but was too busy, so I thought, to get it checked. Typical man.

Well, the PSA was very high, and I was sent straight into Wellington Hospital for a biopsy. In December 2019 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In early 2020 I went through several different scans which gave the urology and oncology team the information they needed to make a more detailed diagnosis and determine a treatment plan.

The news was not good. Because it had been left untreated the cancer had moved to a lymph node. The cancer is inoperable, and the treatment will be an attempt to control the cancer rather than cure it. They have given me a 10-year life expectancy.

I was put on hormone treatment for 18 months and went through radiation treatment from October through to December 2020. I was lucky to be able to do this in the morning and work in the afternoons. Your HAPNZ Board have been very supportive throughout my treatment programme.

I personally know of men in holiday parks, the tourism industry, and friends of mine that have, or are dealing with, prostate cancer. This cancer is not to be messed with.

So this is why I am writing this letter?

To seek sympathy for my own stupidity for putting off getting tested? Hell no.

What I want you to do, if you haven’t already, is get tested!

Hopefully, the test will be negative.

If it is positive then early treatment may mean the difference between a cure or, if you put it off like me, control with the inevitable end.

If the women in the industry read this – you know what to do – send your man to get tested.

Nga mihi,


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