'Chuffed' to receive nomination

Prostate Cancer Foundation chief executive Keith Beck has been nominated for the Senior New Zealander of the Year award. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Prostate Cancer Foundation chief executive Keith Beck has been nominated for the Senior New Zealander of the Year award. Photo by Jane Dawber.

A Dunedin man becoming a finalist in the Senior New Zealander of the Year awards is a fitting way to finish a career with the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Foundation chief executive Keith Beck (62), of Waverley, said he was ''chuffed'' when he heard he was one of the 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Senior New Zealander of the Year awards.

''It was out of the blue.''

He has urged people to ''get blue'' when fundraising for the foundation in Blue September.

He admitted working as a ''one-man-band'' from home could get lonely, although it had been one of the initial attractions of the chief executive position when he applied.

He became the foundation's first full-time employee but would be leaving the ''fantastically satisfying'' job after nearly three years.

He finishes with the foundation on January 25, taking up an IT role as chief operations manager at Financial Planning Ltd in Dunedin.

During his role at the foundation he was available to talk to people who had been diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer.

After diagnosis, they called one of two 0800 numbers, which diverted them to his cellphone.

However, he could usually tell what type of cancer they were calling about, soon after answering the phone. Younger callers usually had testicular cancer, because it mostly affected men aged between 16 and 35. Prostate cancer callers were usually 50 and older, he said.

However, it was often the wives and girlfriends of the men calling, he said.

''Guys get embarrassed and go quiet. Women want to know what they can do to help.''

The Hawea Community Association and the Mataura Community are finalists in the Community of the Year category of the 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

 

 

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