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Cancer can't knock Steves off course

Clean health councillor's best 75th present

Hes been kicking around for three quarters of a century, yet cuts the shape of a man half his age.

Harold Steves turned 75 years young on Tuesday and has been celebrating all week.

The veteran councillor and lifelong dairy farmer held a family get together last weekend and partied Monday night when he led city council to an historic anti-GE crop resolution.

He was the centre of attention once more Tuesday afternoon when, moments before chairing the parks and recreation committee, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and the entire council walked into the meeting with a candle-laden cake and sang Happy Birthday.

Steves, however, revealed the biggest birthday present he received was last week when results of treatment for a second bout of prostate cancer came through.

Ive never made this public, but the cancer I had 21 years ago returned during last falls election, said Steves, who told how he had his prostate removed all those years ago because of the disease.

A PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, which measures the amount of cancer cells, showed high levels again last year.

But I went through seven weeks of radiation therapy and ten months of hormone treatment to control the cell growth. The doctors said the lowest score on a PSA is 0.01, virtually no cancerous cells. My score came through last week and it was even less than that.

So I guess you can say that was my best birthday present. Im maybe good for another 20 years.

As for the other surprises, Steves said he had no clue about the mayor, cake and candles at city hall.

I had no idea about it, then the whole of council showed up with a birthday cake, he said.

I think the mayor came from his office and then went back again afterwards.

And while most folks expect to take a day off or party on their birthdays, Steves was in his element shootin the breeze for three hours with 22 UBC agricultural sustainability students.

(The students) had asked to speak to me on that day and I had a great time, he said.

We talked about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and food security. It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

They asked how Im able to keep going so strong. I think Im energized by these young people.

Steves added that the secret of his longevity is half an hour of vigorous exercise every day.

I also eat lots of foods that dont have pesticides in them.