Payne and Jubilation Choir give back by launching cancer fund
Trevor Payne has been training the voices of the Montreal Jubilation Choir for years with energy and passion.
So when it was learned he was struck with prostate cancer in 2006, everyone around him was shocked and concerned.
"He told me on the phone," said singer Lulu Hughes. "I was quite devastated and I don't like to hear stuff like that at all. It hurts."
Payne completed his treatment at the McGill University Health Centre and decided to give back through the creation of the Trevor W. Payne Fund for Men's Cancer, getting the fundraising kicked off with a benefit concert Thursday night at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall..
"Like most people that have that ultimate scare, that life threatening disease scare, we either hide or come out and obsess with trying to help other people," Payne told CTV Montreal's Mutsumi Takahashi back on April 27. "It becomes part of our own cure, there's some selfishness in it too. Getting involved and trying to help others - and even save people - is part of my healing."
That healing for Payne will help the Cedars Cancer Institute heal many others down the road.
"I know Trevor very well on a personal level and I think it's quite courageous what he's doing," Dr. Armen Aprikian, director of the MUHC Cancer Care Mission, told CTV Montreal's Maya Johnson. "He's giving back and he's showing other men that they're not alone."
Having a high-profile figure like Payne could help remove what appears to be a reluctance on the part of men to seek help.
"It's definitely a lot harder for men to talk about what goes on behind the curtains when they go see the doctor than it is for women," said cancer survivor Raphael Leclaire.
And when it comes to cancer, time is definitely of the essence.
"The earlier we get to the disease the more treatable it is," said MUHC oncologist Dr. David Fleiszer. "So what we're hoping is through these kinds of efforts that we're going to be able to improve the outlook for men who have prostate cancer in particular."
And that is exactly what Payne is hoping for as well.