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Champion Profile: Mike Durkin


As Fire Chief, I know the importance of taking care of the things we value, particularly our health. I have always paid attention to my health. As a husband and father of three great kids, I think it is very important to stay current on doctor's visits and routine preventative exams.

Those actions probably saved my life.

A couple years ago, when I hit the big 50th birthday, I followed the recommendation to have a baseline PSA and DRE exam. Both tests came back fine. Then, as also recommended by my doctor, I had a routine colonoscopy. That test also was good but the doctor mentioned that he noticed something "not quite right" on the prostate. Talk about scary.

I immediately made an appointment with a urology specialist here in town. He did a DRE exam and found some irregularities virtually hiding at the top of the prostate in a difficult to detect area.

A biopsy was done and it came back as prostate cancer.

Before making any decisions, my doctor carefully reviewed the different available treatments with me. I ultimately decided I would get excellent treatment locally and had my prostate removed via the da Vinci robotic surgical system. I didn't want to get radiation treatment so I was happy that the da Vinci process was available here in town.

Good decision. The procedure was successful and I was back to work in two weeks. In less than eight weeks I was back to doing all my normal activities.

As part of the process I had some ongoing therapy and treatment. Being able to get that done that close to home was great and helped me keep a normal schedule.

In March of 2011, I celebrated being cancer free for one year. I feel great.

I can't stress enough, the importance of getting checked. Because I followed doctor's recommendations and got the exams I needed, I'm here today. Working, spending time with my wife, watching my kids grow up, being an active part of my's all very good.

This is what we were meant to do.

Join our mission to help the poor and underserved be well.

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