Community Papers

Why Relay?

Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen's personal experience with cancer is why he is involved with Relay for Life.
— image credit: Submitted photo

By Lori Bradish


Guys dread it.

Many young men are unaware but once they need a physical they learn quickly. The sight of their doctor with the rubber-gloved hand approaching from across the room – that dreaded prostate exam.

But Andy Cohen can attest to the fact that the “rubber glove” exam and a simple blood test can save a guy’s life.

“It’s so simple. Nobody needs to die from prostate cancer.”

Cohen learned he had prostate cancer eight years ago. His brother was diagnosed after changes were registered in his blood tests. A cousin, who is a doctor, called Andy to say he was sure Andy would have it as well - he needed to be tested immediately.

It was a month from the initial test to having his prostate removed. The cancer cells were microscopic but the choice to have it removed for Andy was easy. He’s the kind of guy who takes action to solve problems.

But still – being told you have cancer feels like someone has socked you in the stomach.

“My hands were shaking and my stomach clenched. But we just dealt with it. I had it very easy compared to other people’s experiences.”

Andy’s message to all guys is that “it’s so easy” nobody needs to suffer from this particular cancer. A simple blood test called a PSA can determine a baseline – then follow up blood tests can gauge any changes and the disease can be detected early.

His experience led Andy to get involved with the Relay for Life event in Kimberley, where he was living at the time. Kimberley Alpine Resort, his employer, became a major sponsor for the city’s event.

“There is no doubt in my mind that money spent on research is making a huge difference.” He believes fund raising events like Relay for Life are critical to carrying on life-saving research.

Join Relay For Life in Elk Valley, Saturday June 8 at Fernie Secondary School. Visit for more information and to register! Relay for Research!


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