Katikati man Tony Dodunski never thought he would be alive today.
Eight years on from being told his prostate cancer diagnosis was terminal and 12 months since he was told the end was near, Dodunski is still here and full of life.
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Not only that, but the 73-year-old has done the unthinkable and entered a four-hour endurance bike race along with his family to raise awareness for the illness.
Dodunski was first diagnosed with cancer a decade ago. He had gone in for hernia surgery and doctors noticed abnormalities in his blood.
He said he would never forget getting the call from his GP, telling him he needed to go in for a talk.
The diagnosis delivered a "devastating" blow for both Dodunski and his family.
"I thought it was the end ... I thought how am I ever going to be able to get out of this?"
He quickly got all the treatments he could. Expensive medications, chemotherapy that made him nauseous and radiotherapy.
He was in and out of the hospital but, for a while, he was feeling better.
However, two years later doctors told Dodunski the treatments were not working and the illness was terminal.
From that point, doctors could only provide him with pain relief and life-prolonging medication.
"When I heard that news I genuinely thought I was going to die the next week."
Dodunski was on and off with chemotherapy and medication for seven years.
Then 12 months ago his oncologist told him they had done everything they could.
He said the chemo was making him too sick and he needed to "go home and enjoy life" as he was coming to the end of the road.
A year later, Dodunski says the care and support from local doctors, family and the community down have lengthened his life and helped pull him through.
That was the case a year ago when his children entered the Pedal4Prostate bike event.
Pedal4Prostate is a four-hour endurance cycling event at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand as part of Blue September.
Dodunski was suffering severe pain in his nerve endings on his fingers and toes and he told his daughter if he could get rid of that he would enter the endurance ride next year.
A couple of weeks later, a new drug had zapped away the pain and Dodunski began filling out his registration form for the race.
This year's race was taking place this Sunday.
He said he was going to be a bit "cheeky" and do the ride on an electric bike, but promised he would pedal downhill.
As his family had been doing the race for him, he said he needed to "get off his butt and do something for me too".
When asked if he had any advice for someone who had just received a cancer diagnosis, he said "don't dwell on the illness ... there is always something around the corner to help".
"Just get that check-up as early as you possibly can and get on medication as soon as you find out."
He said before his diagnosis he thought he was "bulletproof" and that he would never get any illness.
Dodunski runs regular raffles for Blue September at his Katikati retirement village to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which he says are successful.
Prostate Cancer Foundation Chief executive Graeme Woodside said proceeds from the event went towards increasing awareness and funding research into prostate cancer, which kills more than 600 New Zealand men a year.
• Blue September is an annual initiative every September designed to get the word out about prostate cancer. People are asked to dress as blue as they can and donate money or simply share information with others.
• Every year about 3000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in New Zealand and more than 600 will die.
• Early detection is key. With one in eight men getting prostate cancer, early diagnosis and effective treatment saves lives. Don't wait for symptoms, many men don't have them when they are first diagnosed.
- Prostate Foundation of New Zealand