Tom Valentine, an oil and gas lawyer, a world traveler, a father of four, and a man who lives life to the fullest, was taken by surprise in 2018 when he received two separate cancer diagnoses.
In early 2018, Tom was diagnosed with melanoma and underwent surgery for it. Later that year, Tom had his annual physical exam where he found out he had a concerning PSA score. From there, his physician proceeded to direct Tom to Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre (PCC).
After a visit with a specialist and a subsequent biopsy at PCC, Tom received confirmation that his prostate cancer was at a stage where it would have to be treated. Tom knew there was a greater risk of him developing prostate cancer as his father Ted was also diagnosed with the disease in his 70’s. Ted spoke openly about his cancer and urged his sons to ensure they were monitoring their health closely.
Although Tom received his cancer diagnoses shortly before Christmas, it didn’t devastate him. Rather, he took his Urologist’s advice, booked his surgery, and completed treatment by the end of January 2019. Tom credits the streamlined programs and services at Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre, as well as his physical ability to return to his fitness activities, for his recovery. Today, his family is so grateful Tom took the time to get checked to ensure he will be around to celebrate many more years of Father’s Day.
In the words of Tom’s son, Jake, “Christmas of 2018 was one I will always remember. My dad was suspected of having prostate cancer and when the diagnosis came back, it was very emotional. I kept thinking this shouldn’t be happening in our family – but it was. And not for the first time either. My grandfathers on both sides also had prostate cancer, which made my dad more diligent about getting checked. Please use my dad as an example of being proactive. This Father’s Day, encourage your dads to get a PSA blood test starting at age 40 so they can be healthy for your family. Let’s all fight to ensure no man dies needlessly from a disease that is easily treated if caught early.”
Tom’s message to the community is an important one: “Men – make sure you pay attention to your health and talk to your doctors, you family, and your friends – especially now during the pandemic. Watch your mental and physical health closely. Remember that prostate cancer affects 1 in 7 men in Alberta. This statistic hasn’t slowed down during COVID. Regular PSA tests and appointments with your doctor are important. I feel very fortunate to be able to go through my prostate cancer journey at Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre. Please consider donating today so that other men and other dads will be able to benefit from PCC in the future.”
About the Valentine family:
The Valentine family has a long history with our city and has called Calgary home since the 1910’s. Tom’s great-grandparents immigrated to Canada with their six sons before World War I. Tom’s grandfather Bert served in both World War I and World War II. In 1948, Bert started a car dealership. that was passed down to Tom’s father, Ted. Today, Tom’s brother, Paul, manages Valentine Volvo – one of Calgary’s leading dealerships.