“It went through my mind that I might have a companion myself before the year was out,” admits Kevin, 71, speaking to the Weekly from his home in Raumati Beach, where he lives with his wife of 42 years, Linda, 64. “When you’re in your seventies, you find out how you’ll react to hearing it’s all going to be over and I thought, ‘Well, you’ve got to go somehow.’ I’ve had amazingly good luck most of my life and have a glorious family and beautiful wife. I can’t complain, really.”
Thankfully for the popular broadcaster, who is a regular guest on Jack Tame’s Newstalk ZB Saturday Morning radio show, his diagnosis last September was followed by positive news.
“There are about five different versions of prostate cancer and I have the least worrying,” tells Kevin, who had prostate surgeries in 2011 and 2012.
“Once we established my type isn’t one that travels, everything was cool. The doctor said he doesn’t believe it’s going to cause any problems and told me, ‘You’ll take it to your death – it won’t take you to your death.’”
It’s not the first time Kevin has battled ill health, having undergone open-heart surgery 15 years ago, at 55, followed by the removal of a benign tumour in his pituitary gland, which could’ve caused blindness if left to grow.
“Kevin’s had so many things wrong with him and all of them could be fixed, but this time around I wasn’t so sure,” says Linda, a part-time kindergarten teacher and mother to the couple’s kids, Alex, 37, Rory, 35, Jake, 30, and daughter Tommie, 19. “But we’ve been to see so many specialists and come out breathing a sigh of relief.”
Today, as Kevin points out the aeroplane shape of Tokomapuna Island from his bedroom window, rattling off facts about the KaÌ„piti Coast landmark, he appears a picture of good health. Living beside the ocean suits the semi-retired Weekly columnist, who writes from an office in their cottage.
Tommie is visiting from Otago, where she’s studying health and nutrition at university, and has filled her parents’ spare room with all the clothing of a fashion-loving teen.
“I arrived in Wellington two days before the level four lockdown was announced and I spent it at my brother’s place in Lower Hutt, before coming back home, because Dad’s high risk,” says Tommie, who is working as a waitress at a local café during the university break.
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