It takes more than balls to stand up for a cause you believe in. Just ask testicular cancer survivor Mark Partland, who will be taking part in Fight For Your Cause on 14 October to raise funds for the Townsville Hospital Foundation.
Mark Partland and wife Louise – owners of local business Ingham Road Seafood.
Thirteen years ago when Mark Partland discovered a lump in his neck, he thought it was just a harmless result of his little girl (Mikaela) jumping all over Daddy. When it was still there two days later, he thought he’d better get it checked out. The cause was completely unexpected – testicular cancer, which had spread to his lymphatic system.
“It’s a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was scary and it happened pretty quickly,” says ‘Mark the Monger’, who owns Ingham Road Seafood with his wife Louise.
“The doctors didn’t waste any time getting me into treatment.”
Part of that treatment included chemotherapy at the Townsville Hospital under the watchful eye of Professor Sabe Sabesan, Senior Medical Oncologist. Mark also needed an operation, which was especially stressful as Louise was pregnant at the time and had to be induced to fit in with the timing of his surgery. That child, Kaden, is now 13 years old and Mark and his family are delighted to say all signs of the cancer are long gone.
“The kids have been teasing me about turning 50 soon, suggesting Dad is getting a bit old, so when I heard about Fight For Your Cause it was the perfect opportunity to show them what I’m made of,” Mark says.
“Better still, it was a means for me to raise money to support the Townsville Hospital Foundation. My hope is that they’ll be able to use the funds to start up a support group for men diagnosed with testicular cancer.”
General Manager of the Townsville Hospital Foundation Judy Higgins and Mark hold the Foundation donation boxes you’ll find at his business on Ingham Road.
A fun charity boxing event, Fight For Your Cause will take place on 14 October at the Townsville Stadium. Last year’s event raised close to $80,000, all of which went to local charities. The bouts are classed as amateur fights and consist of three two-minute rounds.
Mark has been busy preparing for the event, which requires a minimum of 12 weeks of training at Body Torque, who are a presenting partner of the fight night.
“I consider myself a lover not a fighter but I’ve been doing some cardio work and boxing, even though you can’t tell that from looking at me,” Mark says.
Physically it took Mark six to eight months to recover from his bout of testicular cancer. Mentally, it took a lot longer.
“The journey can be quite daunting when you’re going through something like that, particularly for young males. It’s the type of cancer that can dig at their confidence. That’s why I’m so keen to start up a support group,” Mark says. “The great thing about the Townsville Hospital Foundation is all of the money stays local and they can direct the funds to the unit of your choice.
“I know there are young guys out there going through this who would probably like to talk to someone about how it all works afterwards. I’d be more than happy to sit down and share what my journey was like so they have some idea of what to expect.”