In memory of Hugh McDonald

“I was referred to a urologist, and he was very convinced there was a tumour on my prostate that had been there for some time. He referred me off to Peter Mac, where Associate Professor Scott Williams confirmed the diagnosis. 

I knew it was serious, because prostate cancer in a young person can be an aggressive, life-threatening condition. 

Telling my mum was the hardest part. She’d lost my sister to breast cancer six years ago, and my brother about six weeks before. So Mum’s had a pretty hard time. 

But my younger daughters – Alice, Georgia and Christina – probably find it most upsetting, because they’re not used to these things. When you’re 14 or 15 you haven’t generally experienced any of those really serious issues in your life yet. You’re still in childhood. 

It’s a serious, aggressive form of prostate cancer I’ve got. It may kill me, it may not – there is no guaranteed cure. And that uncertainty is the hardest thing to deal with. 

The sooner we get some more treatments, the better. And it’s those small increments of research which will ultimately lead to better treatments and a cure.”


In 2013, Hugh shared this story to help raise funds for cancer research. Many thousands of generous people donated in response to his call for support, helping provide vital funding for the specialised technologies and resources needed to discover cancer cures.

Hugh lost his life to cancer in late 2016, but the impact of his decision to take action will live on for generations to come. We remember him for his kindness to others, and his determination to help transform the future for other families impacted by cancer. 

Hugh is survived by his mum, Janet, his wife Rebecca, his children Rachael, Katherine, Jessie, Jeremy, Alice, Georgia and Christina and his step children Holly and River.

To make a donation in memory of Hugh, please donate online.

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