Ken Thompson didn’t fully realize how important Movember was to him until his father was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2012.
At the age of 60, Brett Thompson was given 12 to 18 months to live, but months turned into years and he kept fighting.
“My dad never looked at his predicted lifespan as a countdown,” Thompson said.
“He took it day by day. He ended up doing three or four rounds of chemotherapy. Seeing his strength showed me that I needed to appreciate the present. You never know when your ticket is going to be called.”
After battling the disease for seven years, Thompson’s dad, Brett, died in October at the age of 67.
As Thompson and his family were cleaning up his father’s belongings, he found a box of cards that he and his sister had written when they were six and seven years old.
“I never thought he’d keep those things,” Thompson said. “He never seemed like that kind of person, but that box of cards brought back a lot of memories.”
Now, Thompson is honouring his father with a barbecue event, with all funds benefiting the Movember Foundation.
The Victoria man has raised over $5,000 since he first began participating in Movember back in 2009, but now he’s taking his fundraising efforts to another level.
The company he works for, Emco HVAC Victoria, is partnering with H.I. Mechanical and Vivid Solutions to host the event. This is the first time that they’re going big.
In addition to burgers and hotdogs fresh off the grill, they’ll have a dunk tank and raffle prizes on-site. The grand prize includes four tickets to a Vancouver Canucks game against Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 16, accommodation at the Georgian Court Hotel, and BC Ferries vouchers.
Olympic View golf course is also offering 18 holes for two and 36 Pinnacle Gold balls as one of three door prizes.
If there’s anything Thompson has learned from his father, it’s the fact that he shouldn’t be stubborn when it comes to doctor visits.
“Once he was checked, it was too far down the line,” said Thompson. “Even if you feel fine, that’s not the point. Just because it’s not in your face doesn’t mean it isn’t something.”
The event takes place at Emco HVAC Victoria, 601 Boleskine Unit #5, on Thursday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. No tickets are required. A $20 minimum donation is requested.