Brodie Kitson – An Interview

December 14, 2019

A DIAGNOSIS of testicular cancer almost a year ago was both the best…

A DIAGNOSIS of testicular cancer almost a year ago was both the best and worst thing to happen to personal trainer Brodie Kitson.

In August, Brodie, who has been a trainer at The Gym Glenelg for about two years, was given the bad news: he had Stage 1 testicular cancer. He was just 33 years old.

But his survival rate was high – he had a 99 per cent chance of survival and with no family history of the illness, he was set to make a good recovery.

“Being scared to find out if it had spread, that was my initial reaction when I was told,” Brodie said. “I wasn’t shocked or anything, which most people think.

“Luckily, there was only a 48-hour period between being diagnosed and finding out the results of the CT Scan to see whether it had spread.

“After that, knowing that it hadn’t spread to my lungs or anything, I felt a lot more comfortable with it. I knew that my prognosis was really good.”

Brodie had surgery and made a full recovery. His mum moved into his Glenelg home to assist with daily chores, cooking, taking him to appointments and “bringing me a coffee everyday” (he joked) while he was on the mend.

Brodie’s friends and clients were also there to support him.

“When you get diagnosed with cancer, you say that you are not alone,” Brodie said.

“You aren’t alone, but you are alone because you are going through it by yourself.

“I had a lot of support from friends and family, and even clients. I had a lot of clients dropping off food, offering money to help me out. And the week I came back to work, I was fully booked. All the clients I had returned to me.

“During other times in my life, if I had been through this when I wasn’t emotionally capable or mentally as capable, or had the friends I have now, that would have been very difficult to deal with this. But I am very fortunate to have that now.”

Brodie returned to work within six weeks of his surgery to a full booking. He knew his diagnosis would change things, but he wasn’t prepared for just how much.

“Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer will tell you that it changes your life forever – and it does,” he said.

“You are always under the shadow of cancer, you are never free of it. I will always be getting CT Scans. You turn into a statistic – the percentage for chances of it coming back, so you always live in the shadow.

“You start to enjoy life more. If I am having a cup of coffee at home on the balcony, I think ‘wow, this is a good cup of coffee’. You learn to live in the moment more and appreciate things.

“I could have $300,000 in the bank, but that isn’t going to stop me from having cancer. It didn’t matter how much money you have or what you earn. You can’t go to a specialist with that money because it’s not going to change what they can do.

“So my whole outlook changed – how I live my life, how I run my business, everything changed after I got cancer. It affected me hugely.”

Brodie’s business Kitson PT has been transformed as a result of his experience with testicular cancer, investing more in the personal aspect of training.

He has also launched a second offering, Kitson PT Standup, which offers support and education to young men aged 15-19. It focuses on mental health, attitudes towards women, bullying, social media bullying, drugs and alcohol, friendships, and dealing with anxiety and depression – both of which he has personally suffered.

“The chances of men dying from testicular cancer are really quite small, but the suicide is the leading cause of death among men under the age of 44 and the stats around mental health are through the roof,” Brodie said.

“I have also suffered anxiety my whole life, but I have learned to manage it. A lot of people misunderstand anxiety so I worked on a presentation to talk to young men about anxiety, depression and mental health issues.”

Brodie presents to groups of young men in high schools and sporting clubs, and has been asked to present to adults, which he is considering in the future.

We congratulate Brodie for this milestone and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

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