On our cover we’d like to introduce to you Irvin Ducharme. Irvin (and his wife Julie) have lived their entire married life in Chatham, raised a family of five, and also owned and operated “Caprice Hair Styles,” for 40 years. Irvin and Julie have always made physical activity a part of their daily routine and they are proud to say that their example to stay fit has rubbed off onto their children and now to their grandchildren.
For many years, tennis was a sport of choice for Irvin and he held a membership at the Wheels Fitness Club from the day it opened until the day it closed. At present Irvin and Julie work out at the YMCA and in addition Irvin enjoys a 20 to 25 km bike ride 3 to 4 times a week (weather permitting). “Although my bike has a battery assist (not an e-bike), if I don’t pedal, it don’t assist!” says Irvin.
In May 2010, just before his 75th birthday, Irvin courageously underwent surgery for prostate cancer. As extremely difficult as it was in the days to follow, it was his fit condition that helped in his healing process and it was his daily walks (increasing the distance a little at a time) that got him back to his old self once again. Six months later, treatments began and 33 rounds of radiation (in London, Ontario) were required (five days a week). Fortunately Irvin knew the way to the treatment centre as he had been a volunteer driver for other cancer patients for the 12 years prior. A year ago Irvin underwent a second operation to help with some of the side effects that prostate surgery leaves behind. Thankfully this operation was a success and Irvin is once again back to his old self-walking, running, biking, and, for now, still just dreaming of the golf course.
“Exercise, attitude, family, and friends is what it’s all about,” says Irvin. As he approaches his 80th birthday as well as his and his bride’s 55th Wedding Anniversary (both on May 21, 2015), he has no plans of slowing down. As we ended our photo shoot, Irvin left us with a mention of a book he was given as a gift from his son called “Younger Next Year.” Maybe that’s his secret? Maybe we all should pick up a copy?