Lorne Felchle describes the process of learning about prostate cancer as a “lonely investigation.”
The former Mountie, who spent the ’60s following up leads on illegal distilleries to murders in Manitoba, is familiar with a quest for information.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 55, the 73-year-old is now free from the disease, and is starting the White Rock Prostate Cancer Support Group to help others cope with the diagnosis.
“It’s kind of a way to give back to the community,” Felchle said, adding that, at this point, he has “no idea” the level of interest that will be in the area.
“I don’t think support groups today are needed as much as they used to be because of the Internet,” he said. “But it (the Internet) still doesn’t fulfil the need for companionship.”
“The wise being able to talk, in the corner over there, about certain things,” he added.
Felchle is organizing the monthly meetings by himself, although he recently got the group recognized by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of BC.
“It’s just a step-by-step thing and you have to be on top of it,” Felchle said, who used to own fire insurance businesses up until his retirement.
“It’s not that I’m adverse to asking for help, it’s just I don’t really know who I’ve got right now.”
The first meeting – scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m. Feb. 5, at the White Rock Library – will start off as a camaraderie, then graduate into presentations and guest speakers later down the line, he said.
After the first meeting, meetings will be held the second Monday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the library.
“Some of it might be a one-to-one basis. They might not be comfortable talking in front of everybody else about that because they’re just new on the block. If you’ve been in this for years, you realize you’re not the only guy,” he said.
In a poster advertising the event, Felchle notes that the most recent White Rock/South Surrey Prostate Cancer Support group closed its doors 10 years ago.
“Not only has our community grown immensely since then but for men newly diagnosed, and for those who have received treatment, so much has changed in our understanding of the disease and in particular, the support that men can now receive,” the poster explains.
The poster describes the group as an area where men and their families can find information and a place to discuss information. Felchle noted, however, that those providing the information are not medical professionals.
“We encourage all men to bring a spouse or a friend along to our meetings. Our meetings are open to all members of the public.”
For information, contact Felchle at 604-536-5947.