Early detection of lung cancer is well below par

Losing a sibling is devastating but when that sibling is your identical twin brother the loss is overwhelming. Pete House, former captain at Brickhampton Golf Club, shares his story of losing twin brother, Paul, to lung cancer and how playing golf provided him with a much needed distraction from the pain.

“My brother, Paul, and I were introduced to golf by our dad at a young age when he encouraged us to caddy for him and other members of the local club near our home town.

Pete House with his brother, Paul, who sadly died of lung cancer

“We did almost everything together. This, unfortunately, included taking up smoking at 14 as most boys did in those days. Paul continued to smoke throughout his life (although he wasn’t a heavy smoker) while I stopped smoking when I was 22.

“At 17, Paul left to join the RAF as an apprentice technician. A few years later he left and our lives were again in parallel as we both started working for the emergency services – me for the fight service and Paul for the police.

“By the time Paul was diagnosed with lung cancer his illness was well advanced and in spite of receiving chemotherapy, it was too late. He was just 62.

“Losing Paul has left a huge hole. Playing golf was just about the only thing that provided me with a distraction from the pain – of both watching Paul suffer at the hands of this awful disease and, ultimately, his death.

“Sixty-two is no age and I believe that if there was a lung cancer screening programme in place then Paul’s cancer may have been detected at an earlier stage and been treatable.

“However, screening is not the only weapon available to fight the so called ‘emperor’ of cancers. Education and awareness play a huge role and this is one of the main reasons I chose to support Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

“It is common for golf club captains to use their captaincy to raise funds for a charity of their choice. As a club, we organised various fundraising activities throughout the year including a charity golf day. We raised over £2000.

“I know the charity will put that money to good use and I hope sharing our story helps spread the message and raise awareness of lung cancer. Then I feel my brother’s death won’t be completely in vain.”

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