Tuesday 20 August 2019

Kerr urges men to get checked after cancer diagnosis

Ill: Bobby Kerr has been diagnosed with cancer
Ill: Bobby Kerr has been diagnosed with cancer
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Broadcaster Bobby Kerr has urged men to "get themselves checked" after being diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck.

Kerr (55), who presents Down to Business on Newstalk, made the announcement on his radio show yesterday that he will be taking a six-week break from the airwaves for treatment.

He said the motivation behind his public announcement was to urge other men to "get themselves checked" and said that his changes of beating the disease have been improved "incrementally" as it was detected early.

"Before I go, there's something of a slightly personal nature," he told listeners of his Saturday morning radio show.

"Guess what? I've currently been diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck and I'm undergoing treatment to make myself better.

"Why am I telling you this? What you might consider a very personal piece of news? The reason is simple. It's Movember. It's men's health month, get yourself checked - I did."

"I have a very serious disease, it's been caught early. It's only in one place and because it's been caught early, my chances of beating this increase incrementally. That's why I'm telling you guys, you should go out there and get yourself checked."

The businessman turned broadcaster owns the Insomnia Coffee Company franchise and also appeared on RTE's Dragon's Den.

He has spent the last six years hosting his own Saturday morning radio show and proudly spoke of his listenership growth since taking over in 2009.

"I've been presenting Down to Business here for six full years. Yes, it's my sixth birthday here at the station today," he said.

"I started in November six years ago; 20,000 listeners on a Saturday, now we've just passed 100,000 which I want to thank each and every one of you for."

After sharing the details of his diagnosis, Kerr thanked his family and friends and credited with them as being his "arsenal", namely his wife Mary and their four daughters Meghan, Emily, Rebecca and Michaela.

"I've always considered myself a 'glass half full' kind of person, having a positive attitude to whatever life throws at me and I believe that life is absolutely for living," he explained.

"In my life tips I give when public speaking, it says that only three things in life matter - health, family and friends.

"Because nothing else actually matters. If we look at that as a three-legged bar stool, I've taken a bit of a hit on the health leg, but the other two are stronger than ever.

"Big thanks to Mary and the girls. I'm blissfully cohabiting with five loving females -that's my secret weapon in beating this. My mother, my brothers and sisters, they're also part of arsenal, my partners and colleagues in Insomnia coffee.

"This is my arsenal of armoury to beat this disease. The bad news is I'm going away till the new year to get myself better, but I will be back," as Arnie said.

"I will want to make sure all 100,000 of you will still be there when I come back."

Concluding his honest and touching speech on air, Kerr even made a joke, stating he felt like "an RTE fella just going here on my holidays" for his six-week break from the airwaves.

"I get the opportunity to wish you a very early and prosperous 2016.

"God bless you an all thanks and I'll see you next year," he concluded.

Sunday Independent

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