Page 3 Profile: Errol McKellar, mechanic

 

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The Independent Online

Need your exhaust fixing?

Then head to Hackney in east London - and stop at the GP along the way.

What is this – some hair‑brained government scheme?

No, this is a one-man effort to make sure the nation’s cars are firing on all cylinders and that their cancer screenings are up to date.

Like banking with your supermarket?

A little. Errol McKellar runs a garage in Hackney. He’s also survived prostate cancer, which affects about one in eight men. Determined to help others, he began offering discounts to customers who went for a cancer check. So far, 23 men he has helped have found out they did have the disease.

Give him a knighthood!

Not yet. “There’s still much more to do,” he says. “I only found out I had cancer because my wife sent me to the doctor about snoring and I picked up this leaflet about testing. Little did I know that those 10 minutes can change your life. Don’t rely on lady luck – get tested today.”

So, what should we look out for?

Mr McKellar has advised about 3,000 customers about the disease, which is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Symptoms can include an increased need to urinate and a feeling the bladder has not fully emptied.

And he’s fighting fit?

After being diagnosed in 2010, he had his prostate removed a year later and was given the all clear. “If you can save one person a day you’re doing something,” he said. “Men need to get rid of this macho attitude which makes them stubborn about seeing their GP.”

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