10years

 

Bowel Cancer Australia wishes to thank all our community fundraisers for their generosity and support. Your contribution makes a real difference, and we greatly appreciate it.

Please find below a few examples of amazing community fundraisers in action:
 

Melbourne Marathon - Bum Runners
A very warm congratulations to the ‘Bum Runners’! Inspired by team member Emma’s personal bowel cancer journey, the team raised over $13,250 through the Melbourne Marathon, and looked fabulous in their Bum Shorts! “Since being diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2012 at the age of 30, I've been exposed to the devastating effects cancer has on those diagnosed and their families. In just one short year, I've experienced people my own age passing away from this disease, the very disease I'm currently fighting. I made it my mission to complete this challenge in their honour, in honour of those I know who are currently fighting and to be defiant to this illness that has weaselled its way in and turned my life upside down. I’m doing it to show cancer who is boss - and that’s me! Life's for the living and that’s what I am here to prove, not just to cancer, but to everyone that knows me “ The Bum Runners had three PBs and a few members struck down with illness the night before, but all the team had such a ball on the day and are so proud of their efforts. We are too guys, thank you and WELL DONE!

Don't S#^* the Dip - Memorial Darts Day
Big thanks and congratulations to all the players and supporters that took part in the 'Don't S#^* the Dip - Memorial Darts Day' for bowel cancer research! Complete with commemorative event day t-shirts, the special darts competition was hosted in memory of Jenny's brother-in-law, who loved to play the game of darts and sadly passed away from bowel cancer three months earlier after a two and a half year battle with the disease. Thanks so much guys, what a thoughtful way to honour the memory of a much loved friend and family member.

Dave Langridge Memorial Day
Big thanks and congratulations to the Gove Touch Football Association, and all their supporters, who kindly fundraised  for bowel cancer research through the association's annual Round Robin event in memory of much loved past member Dave Langridge. “It was a fantastic day for everyone involved! A big thank you to the TIGERS (event winners), SHUFFLERS (runners up) and YOUTH'N'AGE (third place), all of the refs, volunteers, spectators, players, sponsors, and the Langridge Family , for making the wonderful day a success. We couldn't have pulled it off without everyone working together in honour and celebration of such a special person who contributed so much to Touch Football.” Thank you all!

Ironman Melbourne - Peter
"I was originally doing this as a way to show myself that I could still achieve certain things that I had been told I was no longer able to do.  As I progressed through all of the hours of training I found it harder and harder to get through, and realised the only reason I managed to finish the long training sessions was by thinking about my Mum, what she went through after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, and how she fought every inch of the way until she passed away.  The Ironman event became more a thought of not what I can do for myself, but what I could do to help raise awareness and funds for people diagnosed with bowel cancer.  Through the generosity of family, friends and complete strangers I managed to raise over $15,000 and hopefully a lot of awareness too.  The event day was full of highs and lows, but anytime I found myself wanting to give up I thought of everyone who had made what I was doing possible, and of course, Mum.  The Bum Shorts even got an honourable mention as the best shorts he’d seen all day from the Voice of Ironman as he announced me over the finishing line.  Thanks so much to Bowel Cancer Australia for your support and giving me such a great platform to raise awareness for this terrible disease." Our pleasure Peter. Thank you!

Michelle's Head Shave
Inspired by a good friend's bowel cancer journey, Michelle decided to cut off her long locks to support the very important cause.  "I created an online fundraising page because I wanted to show my support for my friend, and cancer survivor, Julie. Julie has released a book, Just A Little Unwell, about her own very personal story of diagnosis, treatment & remission of bowel cancer. I was also honoured to illustrate the front cover of Julie's book".  Michelle had her hair cut and shaved on the evening of the book launch, raising over $2700. Congratulations Michelle (& Julie) and thank you for your super support!

Bridge to Brisbane - Sue & Matt
Bowel Cancer Australia fundraisers Sue and Matt spent Father's Day walking along the Brisbane River and celebrated afterwards with an amazing breakfast. It was all part of the Bridge to Brisbane fun run event, and in support of their best friend's bowel cancer journey. "Next year my best friend Kathie and her husband will be joining us to do some more fundraising. We both have IBS and I guess she just thought it was just another symptom of irritable bowel. Shame her doctor wasn't more aware of the different symptoms either." Thanks for your support Sue & Matt,  it certainly sounds like it was a wonderful day!

Bridge to Brisbane - Christine (Chris)
Running across the finish line of the Bridge to Brisbane was extra special for Chris, following the recent passing of her mum.  Motivated by her mother's bowel cancer journey, Chris chose to fundraise for Bowel Cancer Australia through the event.  "To be honest I really wanted to give her hope and have her find the strength to fight for a little longer so she could be here on the day I ran."  Sadly that wasn't to be, but Chris is sure her mum was watching down on her for the big day.  "I enjoyed the challenge and really am proud to have helped such a worthy organisation."  So are we Chris. Thank you so very much for your support.

Perth City2Surf - Michelle
Warmest thanks and CONGRATULATIONS to super supporter, Michelle, who was amongst the Top Individual Fundraisers for the Perth City2Surf (No. 2 in fact) raising over $10,300! Michelle finished the 12km run in style, proudly wearing her 'Bum Shorts' for the last 3kms of the race. "I am pleased to say that the bum pants were a huge hit with fellow runners and I was egged on to run harder as they shouted – Nice Bum!" As a member of the 'Love My Family' Community, Michelle has also been sharing her own bowel cancer experiences to support others. "My goal of the run was to help raise awareness for others to prevent such a disease and to promote the support services of Bowel Cancer Australia for people specifically without support networks when they are trying to get better and/or manage the disease as best as practicable." A very worthy cause. Thanks so much Michelle and well done from all the team :)

Run Melbourne - Fiona & Mark
What started out as a personal challenge for Fiona and Mark, grew to be so much more when their young friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer. "The response was incredible!! We were overwhelmed by the quickness of people to generously donate - purely because we were running a long way and the disease had touched a friend of ours we could all relate to - young, full of life and lots of life ahead of her.  Our friend was absolutely blown away by this generosity and our prayer is not only for her to beat her battle and find complete healing, but for Bowel Cancer Australia to be able to promote more awareness regarding symptoms and diagnosis, and for cure rates to increase with new advances." Thanks Fiona and Mark, so do we :) 

Sydney City2Surf - Sam & Sarah
CONGRATULATIONS to young fundraiser Sam, who did an absolutely fabulous job supporting Bowel Cancer Australia in the Sydney City2Surf.  Sam (& mum Sarah) smashed their initial $1,500 target, raising $3,180 for bowel cancer research!  Sam's grandmother is currently undergoing treatment for bowel cancer, and is their inspiration for taking part in the race.  "The run itself was 'FUN' - for a long time I have often said (before I started running) how could there be 'fun' in running but I was definitely proved wrong. We had a blast and as soon as we ran over the finish line (1hr40) Sam turned to me and said 'when are we doing the next one?'..." 
 
Sydney City2Surf - Kate
When Kate's dad was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer two years ago, she started running to help cope with the challenges of the journey.  "I love to run and I thought what better way to honour my dad's memory and promote awareness than to run in the iconic City2Surf and fundraise for Bowel Cancer Australia.  I surprised myself by being the 927th female to cross the line from over 30,000 women - I'd like to think my Dad was there urging me along through the wall of runners who were also running for a cause." Thanks so muck Kate and congratulations!

Collaborate for a Cause
It is always lovely to see supporters getting creative to raise funds and awareness for the cause. The charity was lucky enough to have ten talented small businesses team up to Collaborate for a "Bowel Cancer" Cause. Thanks so much Kay (Lush Tutu Boutique), Sarah (Sew Cute by Sarah), Katrina (Roses of Blue), Crystal (Pretty Little Miss), Debbie (Tookie Tu Baby), Ofalaine (Avierley Boutique), Sandra (Oopsi Daisy Baby), Shirley (Simply Divine Living), Mel (Ava's Grace) and Amber (Vintage Blooms)!

  Going For Gold in the Sydney City2Surf
Warmest thanks and congratulations to all our amazing Gold Ticket Runners in the Sydney City2Surf. These super dedicated supporters raised a combined $17,300 for Bowel Cancer Australia, proudly running the race in special gold charity bibs. Thank you Denise (& Rowan), Janette (& Emily), Julia, Laura, Marlene, Nick (& Daniel), Rachel and Trish!

Run Melbourne - Toni-Marie
"My family was affected by bowel cancer 8 years ago and as you can imagine the words ‘family’ & ‘cancer’ can be very hard to process. Luckily for my family, especially my Dad we reached the 5 year all clear. Participating in Run Melbourne was a challenge but I know it was only a miniscule challenge compared to what the men and women who suffer from illnesses such as bowel cancer go through. The run was my small way to show my dad know how proud I am of him for not only making it through that ordeal but how he continues to be such a positive inspiration in my life." Thanks Toni and well done!

  Run Melbourne - Stephanie
Running alongside best friend Rhiannnon (right) who also ran for her charity of choice, Bowel Cancer Australia supporter Stephanie had a special reason to take part in in Melbourne's biggest running event. "I ran because my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 24 and through early detection survived. My brother and I go for colonoscopies every 2 years in the hope it could save our lives one day too. I am happy to contribute as much as I possibly can to such a great organisation. I will be participating again next year and with more preparation hope to raise more money for Bowel Caner Australia." Thanks Stephanie and congratulations!

Run Melbourne - Jessie
 
“The fun run was a great morning, although very hard work and emotional as I currently have a family friend (Sarah) battling bowel cancer. It was my pleasure to help raise money :-)” Warmest thanks and congratulations Jessie for a fabulous effort in Run Melbourne, and for your support of Bowel Cancer Australia through the running event, we greatly appreciate it!

A Super Heroes Send Off
Following Jeff’s diagnosis with colon cancer, Katie decided she wanted to hold a very special housewarming party in his honour. “Not long before the party my brother was told the cancer had spread and he only had a short time left to live. The donations started coming in online even before the party and many people were coming to say their last good byes. Jeff passed away 2 weeks later. He was 33 and leaves behind a beautiful wife and two gorgeous girls. We will miss him terribly. At his funeral I urged everyone to become aware of the signs of bowel; colon and other cancers, and that they can affect young people as well as old. I hope that my brother’s story will make other people aware of the risks and the signs of cancer and catch it in the early stages when it can still be treated. Even superheroes can get cancer” Warmest thanks Katie, family and friends, we very much appreciate your support.

  Philanthropy on the menu
Silent auction organisers Greg and Jody Robertson, from Aliant Food Services in Brisbane, have always been interested in philanthropy.  However when Jody’s mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer, they suddenly had a very personal reason for nominating Bowel Cancer Australia as the most recent charity to benefit.  $50,000 was raised through the event, thanks to food services distributors within the Countrywide group.  We thank Greg, Jody and all of the Countrywide team very much for their tremendous support. Read the full story at Philanthropy on the menu.

Cooks River Fun Run
With teams of runners wearing Bowel Cancer Australia’s distinctive bum shorts and a Super Colon on display, the charity benefiting from the Cooks River Fun Run was hardly in doubt. While the weather meant gumboots were more appropriate footwear than running shoes, over 500 competitors helped raise funds and awareness for bowel cancer. Our sincere thanks goes to Strathfield Council led by Mayor Gulian Vaccari. We’d also like to thank Sinead, Amanda, and the many individuals who braved the wet weather to support the event and those who went the extra distance by encouraging friends and family to sponsor them or donate to the cause. Read the full story at Cooks River Fun Run for Bowel Cancer.

Bogan Bingo for bowel cancer
Congratulations to the amazing Julie, who raised over $8000 through her ‘Bogan Bingo’ night for bowel cancer! Diagnosed at the young age of 40, Julie is a strong advocate for bowel cancer awareness and screening, and a great supporter of Bowel Cancer Australia. To top it all off, as Julie raised over $2000 through her event, John (Julie’s dad) got a special apple tattoo to show his support. Wow! Big thanks Julie, John and all who supported the ‘Bogan Bingo’ event. We really appreciate your support and you should be very proud of your fabulous fundraising efforts.

Run for a Reason - Laura
The Perth Run for a Reason marks the start of something big for Laura! An enthusiastic supporter of the cause, Laura did an amazing job in the 4km running event, and an equally wonderful job with her fundraising – exceeding her target and raising over $1500 for Bowel Cancer Australia. “By the ripe old age of 20, I had lost my father and all of my grandparents to various forms of cancer, with my grandmother passing away most recently due to bowel cancer... so this was a cause very close to my heart. Thank you so much for the wonderful work you do. I am already looking forward to next year when I have set myself the target of running the 12km and raising $5000!” Thank you Laura and best wishes for next year’s event! (special thanks from Laura to all her sponsors too, she's very grateful)

SMH Half Marathon - Jamie
When Bowel Cancer Australia supporter Jamie decided to start training for the SMH Half Marathon he wanted to reach a goal he never thought he would accomplish.  But when the race day came not only did Jamie accomplish his goal, he exceeded it – completing the run and raising close to double his original fundraising target (raising over $3,700)!  “May was not just the month of the race, but also the month I lost my father to bowel cancer in 2009.  His passing was and still is the hardest thing I have faced in my life.  So I figured what better way to honour him and his life then to run this race and raise some funds.”  Thank you for your support Jamie, and we look forward to your next big event.

Benalla Golf Club Cancer Day Family Event
A very warm congratulations to one of Bowel Cancer Australia’s youngest and most enthusiastic fundraisers – 13 year old Kaitlyn. Inspired by her beloved zio’s bowel cancer journey, Kaitlyn decided to organise a Golf Day Extravaganza to raise funds and awareness for the disease. An event that included a raffle, spinning wheel, sausage sizzle and team Golf Tournament, the young fundraiser did an absolutely amazing job, raising over $3,400 for Bowel Cancer Australia! Big thanks Kaitlyn, and what a lovely way to honour the memory of your uncle.

Run For A Reason - Georgie
Warmest congratulations and thank you supporter Georgie, who completed the HBF Run for a reason in Perth for Bowel Cancer Australia. Georgie’s motivation for taking part in the event - “I am running this for the amazing people I know and friends and their families who are fighting or who have sadly lost the fight against Bowel Cancer.” Working her way up to the event by taking part in other running events throughout her race preparation, the Run for a Reason was Georgie’s first ever 12km event. An absolutely amazing achievement, and made even sweeter by the fact that Georgie exceed her fundraising target for bowel cancer. Yay!

Run For A Reason - Joe & Marie
Father and daughter duo – Joe and Marie – had a fabulous time taking part in the HBF Run for a Reason (WA). “We walked 12km starting in the Perth city and finishing at Gloucester Park, managing to walk the distance in 1hour and 54 minutes which we were pretty proud of. It was a great morning and we enjoyed every minute of it.” The pair chose to support Bowel Cancer Australia as a special way to honour the memory of Marie’s Nonno (grandfather), who sadly passed away from bowel cancer earlier in the year. With the support of family and friends Joe and Marie raised much needed awareness and funds for bowel cancer, and we thank them so very much for their support.

The Brian Anthony Memorial Cricket Day
Dedicated to a much loved Dad, Husband, Brother, Son, Uncle and Friend, the Brian Anthony Memorial Cricket Day is an annual cricket event which aims to raise awareness of bowel cancer and funds for bowel cancer research. “Dad survived only 12 months after diagnosis and fought hard right to the very end. If we can help prevent other families having to go through what we did, then it will all be worth it.” Big thanks to Jodi and all who supported this wonderful inaugural event, which not only included the memorial cricket match, but also a bouncy castle for the kids, food stalls and most importantly bowel cancer screening tests available for sale. Thank you!

Raw Challenge for bowel cancer
Big congratulations to super supporter Brendon, who did an awe-inspiring job completing the Raw Challenge for Bowel Cancer Australia.  An event filled with outrageous obstacles (and plenty of mud), Brendon completed 3 amazing laps of the event course (24kms) and 90 obstacles, raising much needed funds and awareness for bowel cancer in the process. Setting himself an initial fundraising target of $700, Brendon received an overwhelming amount of support from family and friends, and went on to raise over $3,800. Wow! Well done Brendon and thank you!

Mads and Ez Go Bald For Bowel Cancer Awareness
Warmest congratulations to Erin and Madison, raising over $8000 through their joint head shave in support of bowel cancer awareness and Bowel Cancer Australia. When Erin’s mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer for the second time, friend Madison suggested the pair do something to raise funds for Bowel Cancer Australia - go bald for bowel cancer! And what an amazing job they did. Big thanks Erin, Madison, Judi and the Cobram community for you fabulous fundraising and support, we greatly appreciate it.

Stephanie's Cook For A Cure
An avid fundraiser and long-time supporter of “finding cures for cancer” (beginning with a head shave at the age of nine!), 21 year old Stephanie selected bowel cancer as the focus of her latest fundraising activities. Motivated by her father’s recent diagnosis with bowel cancer and the “shocking” statistic that bowel is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in Australia, Stephanie kicked off her bowel cancer fundraising with a highly successful Cook for a Cure afternoon tea for Bowel Cancer Australia. Thanks so much Stephanie!

The Incision of OZ – follow the yellow lymph node…
Big thanks and congratulations to the UNSW Medshow executive team, cast and crew, raising $5000 for BCA through their quirky take on the much loved story, The Wizard of Oz!  MedShow is an annual charity-driven production showcasing the many outstanding talents of Australia’s future doctors, developed solely by medical students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).  The group’s twelfth successful production, ‘The Incision of OZ – follow the yellow lymph node’, was attended by sell-out crowds.  All proceeds were kindly donated to Bowel Cancer Australia, raising funds and awareness for bowel cancer.

'Back to the G' for bowel cancer
Melbourne put on near perfect conditions for the Medibank Melbourne Marathon on Sunday 14 October, attracting more than 6,000 runners and raising almost $18,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA).   Among the throng of running enthusiasts hitting the Melbourne pavements on Sunday morning were a dedicated group running in support of BCA. Their participation raised much needed funds and awareness for a disease that will affect 1 in 12 Australians during their lifetime.  Close to $18,000 was raised for BCA through this year’s event, and the preparation activities prior to it. It was the best Melbourne Marathon fundraising total to date!  Big thanks everyone.  Read the full story at Melbourne Marathon for bowel cancer.

Making a Difference through Regular Giving
It was the passing of a very dear loved one that led to long-time supporters Justin and Leanne’s decision to support Bowel Cancer Australia through monthly donations.   The couple were BCA’s inaugural Regular Givers, and remain the longest standing supporters, contributing to the charity on a monthly basis.   We thank Justin and Leanne so very much for their support - making our important work in bowel cancer advocacy, awareness, education, support and research possible. Read the full story at Regular Giving - Making a Difference
 
High Tea celebration for bowel cancer
Warmest thanks to BCA supporter Susan for organising a High Tea fundraiser to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – an elegant affair in her beautiful garden.  A sold out event, “it truly was a lovely fun group of very more than generous ladies who attended” on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Perth, to raise much appreciated funds and awareness for bowel cancer.  A bowel cancer survivor herself, the high tea was a double celebration for Susan – taking place 4 years to the day after her bowel cancer surgery and a short time after receiving the all clear from her Surgeon!  Big thanks to Susan and all who attended.  Congratulations and our very best wishes to you.

From East to West - Hollie’s help continues
The fabulous fundraising efforts of BCA supporter Hollie continue, with a highly successful (Perth) Quiz Night adding to a string of fundraising and awareness events organised by the young bowel cancer patient.  Diagnosed at the age of 24, and undergoing treatment for advanced bowel cancer, Hollie has been inspiring communities around the country with her story and doing an amazing job raising awareness that bowel cancer increasingly affects all age groups.  “I am doing all this fundraising to raise awareness in ALL ages, not just the age bracket that people assume it only affects (the over 50s)”.  Thanks Hollie and congratulations, you certainly are doing a great job!

Courageous Colleen’s head shave for bowel cancer
Inspired by her Dad’s brave battle with bowel cancer and the challenges faced by those caring for loved ones with cancer, BCA supporter Colleen decided to do a little something courageous herself – shave her head for bowel cancer research, and on her 30th birthday no less! Diagnosed with bowel cancer about five years ago, Colleen’s Dad has spent the past two years undergoing treatment for secondary liver cancer. “I'm in complete admiration for my Dad's attitude…. If I wasn't in awe of Dad's attitude to life and what it can throw at you before, then I definitely am now and even more so.” Warmest thanks Colleen for your fundraising efforts ($8000!); we think you are just awesome too.  Sending our very best wishes to your Dad.

City-Bay for Marg 
The last time Kimberly ran the City-Bay fun run (Adelaide) it was with her good friend Marg by her side, pushing and encouraging each other the whole way. Sadly, Marg since passed away from bowel cancer, so this year Kimberly ran the event in Marg’s memory. “Although I didn't have Marg next to me, I still had her voice in my head yelling 'Go Kimmy!!!'” Warmest thanks for your support Kim, and congratulations on exceeding your fundraising target. What a fitting way to honour your friend’s memory.

Bo’s Bucket List inspires next generation
Rather than retreating from life after losing their father to bowel cancer, brothers Lincoln and Ryan are inspiring others to live life to the full while busily raising awareness and funds for bowel cancer.  During the four years between his diagnosis and passing from bowel cancer, Bo Trainor accomplished 20 lifelong dreams - his bucket list.  “He shaped us into the men we are and we wanted to honour him by doing something inspirational. We decided one of our goals would be to run the New York marathon which happens to be on Dad’s birthday.”  The 'Run for Dad' aims to raise $12,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia. Go Lincoln & Ryan! Read the full story at New York marathon for bowel cancer.

PA2D for bowel cancer
Motivated by his daughter’s bowel cancer journey, BCA supporter David decided to take on a challenge of his own – to cycle from Port Augusta (SA) to Darwin (NT)!  “Two years ago my daughter who was 35 at the time was operated on for bowel cancer, the operation was a complete success and to date she is living a normal life.” With an old army friend by his side, and support crew in toe, the two 65 year olds cycled an amazing 2723 kilometres while raising much needed awareness and funds for bowel cancer. Warmest thanks David, George, Tony and Jean. What an amazing trip and fabulous fundraising effort!

Plenty of bowel movement at City2Surf
Amidst the Spidermen, Supermen and Wonder women, there was another kind of superhero at Sydney’s City2Surf – the people proudly wearing Join The Bowel Movement t-shirts and bum shorts, to raise much needed funds and awareness for bowel cancer.  Bowel Cancer Australia had 17 people running as members of the charity’s Golden Ticket Team, and an additional 50 enthusiastic supporters running for us in the General Entry category.  Their efforts and determination certainly paid off, raising more than $30,000 in the fight against bowel cancer.  Thanks guys!  Read the full story at City2Surf for bowel cancer.

Gazza Eggleston Fundraising Gala
When Kelly’s husband Garrie passed away from bowel cancer the ACT resident decided to organise a Trivia Night in her local community to help make sure others avoid the pain her family has been through, by raising funds and awareness of bowel cancer. The event fundraised just over $18,000 for the Oncology Clinic at Calvary Hospital and Bowel Cancer Australia, an absolutely outstanding effort! Congratulations Kelly and warmest thanks to all who attended the Trivia Night, we really appreciate your support.

School students support bowel cancer awareness
A big thanks to students, staff and school community at the Tumbi Umbi campus of Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College on the NSW Central Coast for their support of Red Aussie Apple Day. Many families in the local school community have been affected by bowel cancer, including Maddison who lost her grandmother to bowel cancer and has a friend who's life was saved through early diagnosis. In response, the Student Council were happy to organise a Red Aussie Apple Day fundraiser during Bowel Cancer Awareness Week, collecting gold coin donations for apple pins and red heart lollypops. Great to see young people getting involved with a disease which can affect people at any age.

ACRC Bike Ride
Warmest thanks to the Altona City Rotary Club, their members, supporters and local community.  Each year the Club organises a number of major events to raise funds for charity groups and Rotary programs, and kindly selected Bowel Cancer Australia as a beneficiary of their Annual Bike Ride.  A dedicated group of cyclists and support crew, made up of Club and local community members, rode from Melbourne to Sydney for the event.  Raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and bowel cancer.  Thank you to all involved, we greatly appreciate your support – making a difference to bowel cancer advocacy, awareness, education, support and research.
 
A daring dive with sharks
What better way to celebrate overcoming a scare with bowel cancer, than with a daring shark dive! That is exactly what Sally did, while getting all her friends and family to sponsor the brave event. The BCA supporter started the day setting across the shores of Sydney Harbour to Ocean World Manly, and finished with a dive amongst all the underwater creatures there, including the Grey Nurse Sharks. “I hope any monies raised will help the fight against bowel cancer and also raise a bit of awareness.  I was lucky enough to catch mine early.  I had part of my bowel removed in December due to a nasty polyp that was found.  I have to keep monitoring now so everything has been clear which is wonderful“.  Best wishes Sally and thank you!
 

Collaborate for a Cause
The brainchild of Jen Kennedy, Collaborate for a Cause sees Facebook businesses from all around the country team up to create handmade items together and then auction them off in support of charity.  Bowel Cancer Australia was lucky enough to have two groups supporting us in this year’s event.  The first was a collaboration between Yumminess textiles, One Sixteenth Designs and Three Kittens, who joined together to create "A very vintage birthday" set combining their love for vintage fabrics and baby items. The second was Shabby Art Boutique Woodberry Designs and Smoochy Kiss, who collaborated together on a French bunny and hand printed fabric cushion. Warmest thanks to all involved for your kind support. Collaborate for a Cause is an annual event and will be held again next July.

Mt Isa to Gladstone for Bowel Cancer Australia
After 18 months of training for up to 600 kilometres a day, 23 year old Leyne Ryder undertook to cycle from Mt Isa to Gladstone in support of BCA, fundraising an amazing $8000+ in the process.  “I’ve got lots of family members who’ve been affected by bowel cancer so I was keen to do this.”  Successfully cycling the first 400km, Leyne was unfortunately unable to achieve his goal to cycle the full 1436km, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee and needing to retire the ride.  The avid cyclist has had to stay off the bike while his knee heals but he is already thinking ahead. “I’m moving back to live in Gladstone soon so maybe next year I’ll try the other way – Gladstone to Mt Isa”.  Amazing effort Leyne, you may not have completed the full distance this time, but you’re certainly a bowel cancer fundraising and awareness champion!

Aggies Charity Day
Following on from charity Ladies Days and a Men’s Cancer Day in recent years, the Wagga Wagga Agricultural College Rugby Union Football Club (Aggies) decided to focus on raising awareness and funds for bowel cancer at their charity football match.  Players hit the field in special jerseys featuring BCA’s Apple Logo, and after three great matches of footy in the wonderful autumn Riverina weather, wrapped up the day with a charity auction – fundraising over $7000! Big thanks to event organisers Henry and Scott, all the players, supporters and Wagga Wagga Community for you wonderful efforts.  Wishing you all the best for next season Aggies!

Helping Hearts for Hollie
Following her diagnosis of bowel cancer in February 2012, at a time when she had just started to organise her wedding, the beautiful 24 year old Hollie found she was now also organising chemo treatments and doctors appointments. “Hollie followed her heart a few years ago to live in Perth with her now fiancĂ©, John. Her ‘Soldiers From The East’, a term we like to call ourselves, rallied together to organise a fundraiser to help raise money for BCA and awareness of this nasty cancer. We proudly raised $4,900 through raffles, cake sales, donations and a sausage sizzle.” Big thanks to Natalie, Jenna and all of Hollies’ family and friends on the NSW Central Coast for their fabulous fundraising efforts.  It certainly was a fundrasier with heart.

From city to sea for a worthy cause
The rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney continued in November as Melbourne launched its very own version of the City2Surf - the Melbourne City2Sea. The 14km event recorded a sold out field for its first year, among them Bowel Cancer Australia supporter Lissa, running in memory of her Dad. “The 14km run was no walk in the park for me, but knowing my efforts were contributing to a worthy cause really put some pep in my step.” And Lissa’s efforts went even further, when the MLC Foundation kindly doubled her fundraising total via their workplace Matched Giving program. Congratulations Lissa and a very warm thank you from all at BCA.

Radical haircut for bowel cancer awareness
BCA supporter and bowel cancer patient Brian decided something radical was needed to help get the word out about bowel cancer, and what better way to do it than with a vivid green haircut! An active member of BCA’s Love My Family Community, Brian’s fundraiser not only focused on raising funds, but also educating people about testing for bowel cancer – holding information sessions at his workplace. Warmest thanks Brian for your amazing fundraising efforts and for helping to raise bowel cancer awareness. Our very best wishes for your treatment. Read Brian’s Real Life Story.

Mongol Madness with the Party of Five
What better way to support a cause close to your heart than driving an 18 year old Ford Transit Ambulance named Olive for over 14,000km, through 14 countries, for 37 days from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia!  That’s exactly what adventurers Caitlyn, Dan, Elly and Grace - Australian/English team Party of Five - did for the recent Mongol Rally.  After a challenging start, the crew made it to the finish line in one piece, not only coming away with experiences they’ll cherish forever, but also raising much needed funds for Bowel Cancer Australia and the Christina Noble Children's Foundation.  Thanks guys, and here’s to your next big adventure! Read more about the team on their website Mongol Madness.

Setting up shop for bowel cancer
Following on from some personal research into bowel cancer, Holly, Adele and Billy from Tinternvale Primary School decided to support the cause with a community fundraiser. The entrepreneurial young trio set up a stall selling sweets, fruit and second hand items to the local community, as well as cakes at school, helping to raise much needed funds and awareness for bowel cancer. Big thanks Holly, Adele and Billy for your fabulous fundraising efforts! Special thanks also to the students, staff and parents of Tinternvale Primary School for your support.

Great run for a great cause
Motivated by his Mum’s battle with bowel cancer, ultra event enthusiast Ben decided to complete the 100km ultra marathon through Victoria’s the Great Ocean Road region in support of BCA. An extremely challenging event, Ben not only managed to more than double his fundraising target; he also did an absolutely stellar job in the race. Finishing in 9th place! “Mum was almost in tears when I told her how everyone had swung behind the charity. You have all made her a very happy lady.” Big thanks Ben and well done!
  
More than just a head shave
Honouring the memory of his father John, who sadly passed away from bowel cancer just shy of his 65th birthday; Ian decided to celebrate his 50th birthday differently this year – with a head, beard and moustache shave for Bowel Cancer Australia. What is so special about a man like Ian shaving his hair and moustache? It’s his first buzz cut in 35 years and first moustache shave in 25 years! For over half his life Ian has had hair with a length below his shoulders, wife Lavina and daughter Sheralee have never seen him without facial hair, and he decided to shave it all off for a good cause. It certainly is a big change, but you look great Ian. Thank you & many happy returns!

 

Raising heart rates, raising hope
We all know exercise is good for our health but events such as Sydney’s City2Surf can also be great for charities such as Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA). About $34,000 was donated to BCA, thanks to the many individuals and teams who used their race efforts to also raise much needed funds in the battle against bowel cancer. Read the full story at Bowel Cancer Australia City2Surf team.


 

Zumba Down South
Following her Dad’s diagnosis with bowel cancer, BCA supporter and Adelaide resident Mandy decided to put together a dance fundraiser at her local Zumba class. The Zumba Down South Fundraiser saw attendees and the dance hall turned blue for two nights, raising funds for Bowel Cancer Australia and awareness of the simple lifestyle choices the special men in our lives can make to reduce their cancer risk. Thanks Mandy!


'The hopelessly unfit vs. the Burnie 10'
Mother of two and self-confessed “non-runner” Fiona overcame torrential hail and glacial winds to complete her first Burnie 10 marathon in support of Bowel Cancer Australia recently, crossing the finish line in a pair of snazzy BCA bum shorts. “Dad was 45 when he passed away from bowel cancer so raising some funds for Bowel Cancer Australia is especially meaningful for me” said Fiona. Blown away by support from family and friends, Fiona exceeded all her expectations for the event, and her kids now also have a cool new addition to their dress up box. Thanks Fiona and congratulations!


 

Simmo’s Fundraiser
A Blackmores Sydney Running Festival regular, Anthony chose to support Bowel Cancer Australia at the event, raising more than $4,000 through his Go Fundraise page! “Over the past couple of years I’ve had a family member and a couple of dear friends hit by cancer. They are still fighting as hard as possible to beat the odds and this is another way we can help” he said. Big thanks to Anthony, and all our supporters in the Sydney running event, we really appreciate your fabulous fundraising efforts.


 

Shoot for your Dad
A wedding and portrait photographer, Clare Day Photographic Design hosted a special Father’s Day fundraiser supporting Bowel Cancer Australia - Shoot for your Dad. “My late father in law passed recently from advanced bowel cancer, and if he had only caught it earlier, like his wife did 6 months later during a routine screening, he would still be with us” said Clare. Kids of all ages joined with their Dad’s to celebrate Father’s Day through the portrait sessions, supporting BCA and the hope that more families can stay together for longer and celebrate special days like Father’s Day together. Thank you!


 

Run Against Bowel Cancer incl. Santa Cycle
Following the loss of loved ones to bowel cancer, Bowel Cancer Australia supporters Louise and Janet decided to organise an annual run and Santa cycle against bowel cancer. The Melbourne events honour the memory of Louise’s mother and Janet’s sister-in-law, whilst raising much needed awareness and funds for a cause close to their hearts. If you fancy a run, walk or cycle in support of a good cause, these great community fundraising events provide a fun way to support Bowel Cancer Australia. Read the full story at Annual Run Against Bowel Cancer incl. Santa Cycle.


 

COC (Charity of Cancer) Cup
The COC Cup is an annual social cricket carnival honouring the memory of an inspirational young man Ferg (Fergus), who lost his battle with bowel cancer at age 21. Players from all over Queensland attend the event – “A great chance to celebrate The Great Aussie Game, mateship and all things Australian, while raising money for bowel cancer research.” Thanks guys!


 

Our Big Swim
Whilst adopting their usual position at the Qantas Club buffet, it became obvious to Andrew and Chris that they were two very unfit 40 year olds, although in their own minds they still looked pretty good. What better way to get into shape, and support a good cause, than to take part in Australia’s biggest ocean swim – the 19.8km Rottnest Channel Swim! Read the full story at Our Big Swim supporting Bowel Cancer Australia. Thank you Andrew & Chris!


 

Cook for a Cure
Cook for a Cure encourages Australians to cook and share a healthy meal, while supporting research to find new cures and treatments, in areas such as bowel cancer. Whether it’s hosting a breakfast, lunch or dinner for friends or family, throwing a BBQ, inviting friends to a picnic, or holding morning tea with work colleagues, there are lots of different ways BCA supporters are helping Cook for a Cure. Read the full story at Cook for a Bowel Cancer Cure.


 

Read more about organising a community fundraiser in support of Bowel Cancer Australia.

 

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Real Life Stories

Paula's story (54, WA)

1

I was diagnosed in 2008 when I was 54. I had been complaining to doctors for years about various symptoms but I was never sent for tests – not even a bowel screen – until I started bleeding from the rectum. I’ve been an athlete for more than 26 years, competing in marathons, triathlons, even an IronMan event. When you run a lot, diarrhoea is quite common, so everyone – including doctors – kept telling me that my various symptoms were the result of an intense training schedule. I knew things wer...

Felicity's story (38, VIC)

1

In August 2010 my life changed forever.  Nothing can prepare you for a bowel cancer diagnosis at just 38 years old.   I had been given what I thought was a routine colonoscopy to investigate the cause of my iron deficiency, which my doctor thought was probably due to an ulcer. But as I lay in bed in the recovery room after being told they had found a tumour, I remember thinking: ‘I’m too young.  I have a husband and two young boys.  This can’t be happening to me’.  ...

Ben's story (28, VIC)

1

I was 28 when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in January 2011. I’d had rectal bleeding, changed bowel habits and stomach pain for a while but had put off investigating the symptoms – I was living in China at the time so I figured it was either an intestinal infection that I couldn't seem to shake or a reaction to something I’d eaten. ...

Eve's story (22, SA)

1

In 2005 when I was 14, my father was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer.  Dad was just 38 at the time and given a low chance of surviving five years.  That was eight years ago and he is still with us, happy and healthy today.   Finding out dad had bowel cancer was a complete shock.  Following his diagnosis, he underwent surgery and half of his large intestine was removed.  He then was prescribed Xeloda as chemotherapy and, like most cancer patients, experienced a lot of difficulty with the treatme...

Chelsea's story (38, WA)

1

It was very frightening to realise I might die and leave my two small children (aged 1 and 4 at diagnosis) without their mum after being diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer at the age of 37 in April 2012. I noticed occasional rectal bleeding and after about six weeks I went to my GP. She didn’t think it was urgent but recommended a colonoscopy. After a six week wait and a substantial increase in rectal bleeding, the colonoscopy showed a tumour in my mid to low rectum, plus two polyps in my bowel. Over the next few...

Sharon's story (47, QLD)

1

My journey with bowel cancer came as a surprise to me, even though I have an extensive family history of the disease due to Lynch Syndrome (a type of inherited cancer of the digestive tract). My mother, brother and uncle have all had bowel cancer and survived to tell the tale. I suppose I thought it wouldn’t happen to me as I have always been healthy, eaten lots of fruit and veggies plus I’m quite a positive person....

Gayle's story (53, QLD)

1

In 2000 I was diagnosed with pneumonia. While I was in hospital the specialist did a cancer marker test which came back really high. However the subsequent colonoscopy was not very clear as the prep had not been very effective. In September 2011 I underwent a second colonoscopy as I was experiencing continual bad diarrhoea. During the procedure a carcinoid tumour was discovered....

Antonia's story (62, QLD)

1

I had not been feeling well for a couple of months, tired, lost weight, feeling sick, and then I had 2 episodes of rectal bleeding, the second worse than the first. I went to my GP, after having done some research. I wanted a referral for a colonoscopy. My GP was initially hesitant to refer me on as he thought it was possibly only haemorrhoids, I knew this wasn’t correct. I had blood tests and I was referred to a general surgeon for a colonoscopy. A week after the colonoscopy, the specialist looking after me told...

Ron's story (60, VIC)

1

I’d had rectal bleeding and unusual bowel habits for six to eight weeks before going to see my GP in 2008. I was 60 at the time. My GP gave me an internal examination but found nothing. Nonetheless, he was insistent that I see a specialist and made the call while I sat in his surgery, getting me an appointment for the very next day.  I had a colonoscopy within the week and was diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer.  I had a CT scan the next day, then an ultrasound for tumour staging....

Ella's story (35, ACT)

1

At the age of 35 I started experiencing rectal bleeding so my GP recommended I have a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy confirmed three growths located within my bowel. After seeing my GP it all happened within weeks, it all seemed so fast yet very professional. After being diagnosed I was required to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Two weeks before Christmas I commenced my radiation cycle which included trips to radiology every day for 6 weeks and chemotherapy in a tablet form, which included 3 pills, twice a day....

Carol's story (63, QLD)

1

The main symptom that led to my diagnosis of bowel cancer was a change in my bowel habits, which I discussed with my GP. I was referred to a gynaecologist who diagnosed a uterine prolapse, which affects the working of the bowel, and was sent to a physiotherapist who put together an exercise program for me to help with the problem. When I went back to the gynaecologist after 12 months as requested, I was still having bowel problems so he recommended a colonoscopy....

Margaret's story (50, VIC)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2007 at the age of 50. I had been noticing changes in my bowel habits for some time but it wasn’t until my abdomen was severely distended and I lost the use of my bowels that I was admitted to hospital. I was on holiday in Port Douglas at the time, so I was taken to Mossman Hospital....

Richard's story (63, NSW)

1

I successfully beat prostate cancer in 2007 so being diagnosed with bowel cancer so soon after came as a real shock. I did the Rotary bowel cancer test (FOBT) in March 2009 and the results were negative. But later that year, my bowel habits began to change – mainly increased urgency and frequency – and when I twice noticed blood in my stools I decided to take the FOBT again. This time the results were positive.   I was overseas when the results came through in April 2010 so I talked to my GP in Australia...

Helen's story (44, QLD)

1

My experience with bowel cancer began with a niggly pain, not unlike wind pain, that lasted for about 10 days. I had always suffered with endometriosis so I put the pain down to that. Thankfully my husband encouraged me to go and get checked out. When the doctor examined my tummy it was very painful. The doctor diagnosed me as having a burst appendix and before I knew it, I was flown out from our small town to the nearest teaching hospital. I spent three days there on intravenous antibiotics to reduce what they thought...

David B's story (65, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1993 at the age of 47.  I had taken a Rotary Bowelscan test (FOBT) and, when it returned a positive result in May, my GP referred me to a specialist.  I was given a colonoscopy in June and told I had a 10 per cent chance of having cancer… turns out, I was in that unlucky 10 per cent!  In July I had a bowel resection.  Looking back, it all happened so quickly.   I felt I coped really well with the cancer at the time but I experienced more problems about se...

Christine's story (54, QLD)

1

Kim was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2012 and passed away on 8th May 2013. We are just coming up to 6 months since his passing and I am here to share his dreadful journey. Kim was being treated for constipation, no bleeding or anything to let us know there was a problem. After 10 days he started vomiting and I took him to the hospital in Brisbane. He spent a week in hospital to clear his bowel, then a big op to remove a large cancer in his bowel that had burst through the bowel wall. He had chemo 24/7 but still h...

Lorna's story (56, NSW)

1

As a registered nurse for over 30 years, I understand the value of good health and pride myself in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I see my GP every year for routine blood tests and always attend for routine mammogram when requested. However, when the bowel screening test arrived, I put it in a cupboard until I had time....

Rick's story (63, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in September 2011 after seeing my GP about a very small amount of blood being present on my toilet paper. ** The GP asked me to get a home testing kit from the chemist, conduct the test and return it to him. The test showed it was a positive result so I was referred to another doctor to conduct a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy took place on September 26 and the results showed two tumours in my large bowel. I was booked in for a CT scan the next day. After the scan my doctor told...

Milly's story (30, VIC)

1

I believe it is important for all of us to fight to be healthy. After experiencing years of diarrhoea and stomach pain, Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 55. After a urinary infection that persisted, Mum’s doctor suggested an ultrasound where ‘masses’ were discovered on her bowels. She was then referred for an abdomen scan....

Robert's story (61, NSW)

1

When I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer I was 61 years old, fit and healthy (at least I thought I was).  I was working in the entertainment industry with a part time job as a spruiker (sales motivator) and also did freelance work in the entertainment industry as a DJ/MC for various events. Approximately 6 years ago, during a prostate check at the local GP, my doctor found a mass on my appendix, protruding into my bowel, fortunately this was benign, however I still required a resection to the right side of my large bowel...

Sandra's story (49, SA)

1

In 2008 I had lap band surgery to help reverse obesity. Since having the surgery, I have had routine blood tests every six months. Prior to one check-up appointment, I noticed a speck of blood in the toilet so during my consultation with my GP (and after she had written a referral for my bariatric specialist) I told her about the blood in the toilet. Straightaway she added this piece of information to the referral just to be sure....

Peter's story (62, QLD)

1

I was first diagnosed with a hernia, which seemed to explain the changes in my bowel habits and the stomach pains I had been experiencing. But in the lead up to the Easter long weekend in 2009, I started feeling pretty unwell. We had family arriving so I didn’t really want to make a fuss – we were meant to be enjoying Good Friday together, after all – but I felt much worse as the day went on and started vomiting....

Carolina's story (33, NSW)

1

I was six months pregnant with my first baby when I started experiencing blood in my stool. I talked to my obstetrician, who said that a little bleeding can often happen during pregnancy but that the amount I was experiencing sounded a little suspicious. She referred me to a gastroenterologist and I decided to wait until after my baby was born to book the appointment....

Steve's story (66, NSW)

1

Three weeks prior to my diagnosis I had been sent a National Bowel Screen Kit. I looked at it and thought, “I should really do that one day”. Needless to say, I left the kit on the bench and three weeks later ended up seeing my GP on a Wednesday afternoon for a prescription. At the time I complained of having had a slight pain in my abdomen. The GP asked to examine my abdomen and it was then he felt a mass....

Hazel's story (58, SA)

1

If you have any irregularities in your bowel movements, don’t ignore it. See your GP straight away and don’t be embarrassed! The whole experience of being diagnosed with bowel cancer has been emotionally devastating for me. In February 2010, I noticed blood in my faeces and made an appointment to see my GP. I’d had bleeding from haemorrhoids before but this was different. I had also been experiencing an urgency to open my bowels for a few years which I had put down to my history of haemorrhoids....

David G's story (51, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer (first stage) at the age of 51 as a result of a routine check-up with my GP. Previously I had no symptoms or warning signs of the cancer. During a check-up with my GP I asked about the Government Screening Kit which I had received but ignored. My GP handed me another kit and recommended I do it. I undertook the stool test which came back positive. My GP recommended I have a colonoscopy as soon as possible - it was booked and undertaken two weeks later. Three weeks later I went in for s...

Janice's story (29, NSW)

1

 My father was a fit and healthy man. He ate well, never smoked, almost never drank to excess and played a lot of sports. As a result of old work and football injuries, he suffered from chronic knee and back pain for many years. He also suffered frequent digestive upsets, which he rationalised to be a side-effect of the anti-inflammatory medication he needed to take for his pain....

Russell's story (72, NSW)

1

Let me introduce you to an insidious silent killer.   My name is Russ and I have been a Rotarian for 42 years.  It was 1996 when I was asked to take on the role of District Chairman for Rotary Bowelscan, a project designed to raise community awareness of bowel cancer and encourage early detection.  With the participation of pharmacies around Australia, Rotary Bowelscan sells test kits designed to detect blood in the stool, which is one of the best early indicators of bowel cancer. ...

Alan's story (48, WA)

1

I got my Rotary bowel test kit from a chemist in 2009. The staff was giving them away so I thought I might as well do one. Two weeks later, the results of the test were sent to my GP and they were positive. I was on holiday in New Zealand when I received an email from the surgery asking me to contact my doctor as soon as possible. When I got back, I went straight to my doctor and was told I had bowel cancer....

Sinead's story (31, NSW)

1

I was only 26 when I went to my doctor concerned about changes in my bowel habits and feeling very tired. My doctor put it down to stress which frustrated me because I felt I wasn’t being listened to. I went to the ED and remember crying saying, “I know there is something wrong with me”. Coming from a medical background (registered nurse) I demanded to speak with a gastro specialist. The doctor who came along spoke and listened to me as human being, he was empathetic and asked the right questions. He s...

Alison's story (46, QLD)

1

This story is about my mum’s ordeal with bowel cancer. She was diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 73, but her diagnosis had taken some time.  Her rectal bleeding was initially thought to be haemorrhoids, and the GP gave her a cream to treat the condition, but the bleeding persisted and, when she finally had a colonoscopy two months later, they found advanced bowel cancer....

Warren's story (31, ACT)

1

I am 31 years old and happily married with two children (3 years and 18 months old) and another little boy on the way, due any time now. I'm an Australian  Federal Police Officer currently attached to the Specialist Response and Security Tactical Response Team. Bowel cancer was the last thing on my mind when I started to experience small amounts of rectal bleeding. ...

Geoffrey's story (70, NSW)

1

Six years ago at 64, I began to notice blood in my stool and reported it straight away to my GP, who referred me to a colorectal surgeon.  A colonoscopy revealed cancer and an operation was recommended as my best option. I’d estimate that from the moment I noticed the blood to finally being operated on took no more than six weeks, which isn’t very long to come to terms with the fact of bowel cancer.  I was given an ileostomy during surgery, which also took some getting used to....

Gillian's story (62, VIC)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 58 years old. I’d had dull stomach pain and occasional bleeding for several months but it wasn’t until I saw a lot of blood in the toilet that I booked an appointment with my GP.  He sent me for a colonoscopy and I was referred to a surgeon within a week. I was very shocked when I was told I had cancer, but I tried to remain positive throughout my treatment and I really think that helped me cope....

Martin's story (60, NSW)

1

My name is Martin and I’m a happily married father of three and grandfather of one, working as a General Manager in the building industry. I want people to hear my story so that they understand that bowel cancer can happen to anyone at any time. I was sent the bowel screen test kit in 2006. I took the test and the results came back negative. In mid-April 2011, I noticed blood in my stools and thankfully I acted immediately. I am normally a procrastinator, but in this instance I acted swiftly. I saw my GP straightaway...

Howard's story (52, QLD)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2010 at the age of 51.  I was seeing a specialist at Toowoomba Hospital about my renal condition.  He asked if there were any other health problems; I mentioned the blood in my stool, which I had seen off and on for the last six years.  I didn’t think it that important, as I had had ulcerative colitis over the years.  My GP did not think it was a concern.  Also I had recently done a FOBT test as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening...

Anis' story (72, NSW)

1

This story is about my father who was diagnosed with bowel cancer three days before Christmas in 2010 and passed away just five weeks later.   Dad was a young 72-year-old – he was healthy and active, ate well, enjoyed long walks, wouldn’t hesitate to climb up on the roof if necessary, and had never even been to hospital – so his diagnosis was a shock. He had lost his appetite and begun to lose weight about a month before his diagnosis but his doctor didn’t think it was a problem; in fact, he th...

Donna's story (45, QLD)

1

I would recommend for anyone reading this to please listen to your body, take notice of your symptoms and get it followed up with your doctor. We all need to push to get looked at when we think there is a problem, because like me, there probably is.  For a couple of years I had experienced bowel changes, which I mentioned to my GP but I was told my symptoms were related to others things. I was tested for coeliac disease as my brother is a coeliac; however, no further tests were done....

Brent C's story (64, NSW)

1

Prior to her diagnosis in 2006, my wife’s concerns about her health were dismissed as a trivial condition because her only symptoms were occasional and very slight rectal bleeding. Each time she raised her concerns with her GP, the GP thought the bleeding was related to other things such as beetroot (we ate a lot of vegetables) or haemorrhoids. However after insisting, her GP finally ordered a colonoscopy which showed my wife had late stage bowel cancer, with metastases in the liver and lungs (stage 4)....

Vicki S' story (36, QLD)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1999 at 36 years of age. Twelve months prior to my diagnosis I had visited my GP and raised concerns about weight loss, rectal bleeding, changes in my bowel habit, stomach pain and feeling tired. My GP told me it was stress-related. After numerous visits I felt like I a hypochondriac so I stopped going to the doctor to report the same symptoms and accepted it was stress (even though I didn’t feel it was stress related). I was a single mother with two young children so I told myself...

Nicole's story (41, VIC)

1

My mother passed away with breast cancer when I was 10, so I have always been diligent with screening and looking after my health.  I would go to my doctor on a regular basis to make sure everything was all OK.   In February of this year I had been quite tired, had a lot of back and abdominal pain so I went for a check-up with my GP.  Blood tests taken read an Hb of 72 so I was called immediately to go to hospital for a blood transfusion.  From there I underwent a colonoscopy and gastroscopy to find out...

Rachel's story (40, QLD)

1

I had noticed some blood in the toilet for about a month but thought it was due to constipation. I was working fulltime and have four children to look after – being so busy I just carried on and didn't dwell on it. One morning, however, I thought I had diarrhoea but all I could see was a lot of old blood in the toilet bowl. I left my husband with the kids at home and took myself straight off to hospital.Staff at the hospital found evidence of bleeding with no obvious cause. The doctor said he would write a referral...

John's story (40, QLD)

1

I started experiencing a change in my bowel habits, stomach pains and rectal bleeding in February 2010 so I saw my GP and was sent for blood tests to investigate the cause of the problems. The results came back normal. However, a month later when the bleeding persisted I was referred for a colonoscopy in mid April. The colonoscopy revealed a 4cm tumour on my sigmoid colon....

Maureen's story (55, QLD)

1

When Maureen received a screening kit in the mail just after her 55th birthday, she had no reservations about doing the test. “It was just too simple not to do. The test was hygienic, quick to complete and extremely straight-forward,” she said. Just as well, because ultimately this unusual birthday present saved her life.  When the test returned a positive result, Maureen was not overly concerned as she had read in the accompanying booklet that the presence of blood may be due to conditions other than ca...

Kylie's story (36, QLD)

1

I had been seeing bright red blood in my stools for between four and six weeks before I saw a doctor.   Because a similar thing had happened after my children (now four and six years old) were born, the experience wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me.  I felt otherwise OK and my energy levels were normal. Nothing felt unusual or different. I had a sigmoidoscopy on my doctor’s orders on 19 April 2010 and they found a growth which they biopsied....

Brent R's story (32, VIC)

1

I’ve seen the effects of bowel cancer first hand and know I never want to go through it. My Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2000. He was just 49 years old. He had had some rectal bleeding and back pain so went to the GP who sent him for a colonoscopy. After this plus scans and blood tests, Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had spread to the liver. He had successful surgery to remove the cancer from the bowel but when the surgeons opened him up to remove the tumour from his liver, they discovere...

Hollie's story (24, WA)

1

Despite experiencing horrible stomach pains and bloating and visiting a few different GPs about my symptoms, I was told I had IBS and female problems. My mother has Crohns so I finally found a GP who would send me for a colonoscopy to test me for this. After being on the waiting list for a while I finally had a colonoscopy in April 2011; however, it had to be abandoned due to the extreme pain I suffered during the procedure. I was scheduled to have another colonoscopy as they had found a polyp during the first procedure. Th...

Aly's story (57, VIC)

1

It’s hard not having control and not knowing what is happening. I first went to my GP in Nov 2011 after a government bowel screen test sent back a positive result for blood in the stools. My GP recommended a colonoscopy, which I had in late February 2012. I was shocked to find out I had rectal cancer. There was no indication and no family history of bowel cancer either....

Jo's story (45, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 44 years old.   I went to see my GP after about twelve months of changed bowel habits and intermittent rectal bleeding, which I assumed was caused by haemorrhoids.  The pain I had been experiencing on and off had become quite bad, so I wanted to talk to my GP about other treatment options.  I was given a colonoscopy as part of this visit – and that’s when they discovered the tumour in my rectum....

Moya's story (69, NSW)

1

In 2007, the government sent out free bowel cancer test kits to a range of people and I did my test as soon as I received it. The results indicated blood in my samples and I was told to see my GP immediately. I wasn't overly worried at this stage because I had seen blood in my stools on and off for some time and had always put this down to taking iron tablets, which can cause dietary problems like constipation.   After my GP appointment, things started to move very quickly, with a colonoscopy, blood tests, i...

Lisa's story (41, NSW)

1

I had rectal bleeding and abdomen pain for a year and a half before finally going back to my GP to tell her I thought the diagnosis of piles was wrong! At one point, there was so much blood and mucous that I thought I had haemorrhaged. My GP finally referred me to another doctor who gave me a colonoscopy in January 2008, where he discovered a tumour and a number of polyps, which were removed....

Peter F's story (41, NSW)

1

Buying a $40 FOBT kit is so much cheaper when compared to your life. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 40 after finally getting around to using an FOBT kit. I had purchased the kit in June 2012 and it sat in my cupboard until I finally used it in early September. The results came back positive....

Kym's story (33, VIC)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2010 at the age of 31. My bowel habits had started to change about two years before, including small amounts of blood on the toilet paper, but I had been told earlier that I had a haemorrhoid so I thought that might explain the bleeding. I was also diagnosed with anaemia just before I fell pregnant about a year after; I would later learn that anaemia can be an indicator of bowel cancer. It wasn’t until two months after giving birth that I went to see my GP about the bleeding,...

Karen's story (45, NSW)

1

In summary, over the last two years I have had three operations, two colonoscopies, six weeks of chemoadiation, four months of chemotherapy, an ileostomy, a hernia on my bowel surgery scar, gone through instant menopause and had to give up work. However, since going through bowel cancer, all my tests have been clear and my last CT is in September 2013, which will be two years since the operation....

Stephanie's story (21, QLD)

1

I woke from what was supposed to be a routine, last resort colonoscopy and was advised that my undertaking of this small procedure had saved my life. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year in October 2012 at the age of 21....

Cris' story (34, QLD)

1

I was only two years old when I lost my grandmother to bowel cancer. My Grandmother and my Auntie, were both diagnosed at ages 60 and 40 years respectively. By the time my grandmother was diagnosed, the cancer was terminal. My Auntie was checked out for bowel cancer due to the high family history of the disease. I was here in Australia when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in Brazil. She had the chance to fight it but could not stand the pain caused by the radiotherapy treatments. I was fortunate enough to be able to vis...

Sandy's story (38, NSW)

1

Was it not for me having a totally random check-up back in 1999, I would not be alive today.  Still to this day I’m not quite sure what got me to go and have a check up as I was fit and healthy, but what happened next still amazes me. My Gastroenterologist calls me the “luckiest girl in the world” as having that check up saved my life.  Being told at 28 years old that had I not come in for a check-up I would have only had a couple of years to live was a huge wake up call for me.   So to me...

Jane's story (41, QLD)

1

In early November 2010 I noticed some weight loss and a change in my bowel habits, including rectal bleeding. I went to the doctor in mid-November and was diagnosed with anaemia and booked in for a colonoscopy later that month. I was told on the day of the colonoscopy that I had bowel cancer. The next step was surgery, a high anterior resection, which was done in mid-December. It all happened so quickly that I didn’t really have time to dwell on what was going on, but it never occurred to me before my diagnosis tha...

Trevor's story (40, QLD)

1

Life was quite normal, albeit very busy with a young family and a very time consuming career.  Things changed for me one night when I experienced severe stomach pains after eating a chicken sandwich and immediately self-diagnosed myself with "food poisoning."  The next morning I was severely sick and started to vomit. At this stage I thought I was getting better as I had got it all out of my system....

Andrew's story (22, VIC)

1

In April 2010, I suffered a huge amount of bleeding when I went to the toilet.  I had no warning signs – it just happened out of the blue.  It was so bad that I went straight to the emergency ward at the hospital.  I think they thought it was just haemorrhoids so I was given a DRE (digital rectal examination) and the doctor took some blood and sent me home. ...

Brian's story (53, VIC)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2011 after experiencing changes to my bowel habits over approximately 2 months, which was followed by abdominal pain.  This led me to my GP who thought the stomach upsets were nothing serious so prescribed a reflux medication and sent me on my way.    I soon returned to my GP after experiencing rectal bleeding, when he then referred me for a faecal occult blood test immediately. ...

Dale's story (49, TAS)

1

Us men rarely go to doctors, let alone get our proper checks. But I recommend to all other men to please listen to your doctor and do exactly what they tell you. Put your faith and trust in them and you will be managed appropriately. I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer in 2011. Passing blood made me go to my GP to have a check-up. My GP suggested doing a Digital Rectal Examination and having a colonoscopy....

Amanda's story (37,WA)

1

My mum was in her mid to late 40s when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She died at the age of 50, when I was 27, 11 years ago this year. Mum had experienced symptoms for some time, starting with bowel upsets, stomach pain and changes in her bowel habits. The doctors suggested it was gastro, then Irritable Bowel Syndrome - you name it, they suggested it. When I look back it felt as though they were fobbing her off. They never suggested looking into what was causing the problems....

Adam's story (25, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer two years ago at the age of 23.  I had been experiencing a range of symptoms for about five years, including rectal bleeding, mucous in my stools, diarrhoea, stomach pain and cramps to changes in my bowel habits.    Coincidentally, my mother was also having these problems, so we were both seeing a doctor to try to discover their cause....

Kersti's story (56, NSW)

1

My story with bowel cancer began in February 2009 but if I’m honest, it began much earlier with symptoms of rectal bleeding and constipation which I didn’t follow up on with my GP. After my mum died, I went through a stage of not looking after myself; just lying on the lounge, eating way too much pizza and drinking excessively. I kept putting my symptoms down to haemorrhoids, bad diet and grief. My constipation was so bad I was twice forced to go to hospital. Scans were done but nothing showed up. On my third vis...

Mary-Anne's story (49, NT)

1

When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer on 23 June 2011, I didn’t even ask what stage the cancer was at – I just wanted to know what I had to do to fight it. My initial symptoms were rectal bleeding, a change of bowel habit and stomach pain. Eighteen months prior, I had started bleeding and had a colonoscopy which showed nothing. The last colonoscopy five years prior to that had showed a polyp and an unknown growth, neither of which were diagnosed as a cancer. There is no family history of bowel cancer on eith...

Seher's story (30, NSW)

1

My family was shocked by the news in April 2011 when first told my Dad had bowel cancer. It was difficult to process as my Dad is such a healthy man. Initially my Dad went to his GP to have a check up on his prostate. It was after his assessment that the GP was concerned Dad’s bowel may require further investigation. After discussing his health with his doctor it was apparent Dad had experienced a change in his bowel habits, was anaemic and had noticed gradual weight loss....

Mandi's story (29, NSW )

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 24 years old, just before I was due to leave for Europe with a group of girlfriends after finishing university. I had experienced some bleeding from my rectum only one week prior to this time, but at the time I really wasn’t too fussed about getting it looked at because I was so excited about my European adventure, and because of my age....

Renay's story (41, VIC)

1

I used to think cancer was the worst thing that had ever happened to me until it became the best thing. This might sound crazy but it is true. I am a wife and mother to a now 6 year old son. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2011 at the age of 41. I had been suffering from exhaustion, stomach pain and unusual bowel habits for three or four months and finally saw my GP when the pain started getting much worse....

Eileen's story (50, NSW)

1

Even though there is a history of bowel cancer in the family, I never thought it would happen to me. My diet had been considerably healthy throughout my life and I had previously used a Rotary Bowelscan kit, which had come back clear. This all changed in July 2007 when I was diagnosed with Dukes stage 3 bowel cancer....

Cherie's story (24, WA)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 24. Over the period of a few months, I noticed that the urge to go to the toilet was becoming more frequent but I assumed that was because I was pregnant. The other key symptom was severe pain in my tailbone area. I would later find out that this was where the tumour was, though at the time it was also attributed to pregnancy....

Stacey B's story (36, WA)

1

My husband Peter was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2012 at age 36. He was referred for a colonoscopy by our GP as he had been experiencing rectal bleeding and a consistent change to his bowel habits. The colonoscopy results found a tumour which was biopsied and confirmed to be cancerous. Peter was then sent for a CT scan and MRI to confirm locations and check for the possibilities of metastasis....

Kathy's story (47, WA)

1

During a routine pap smear in August 2011, I mentioned to my doctor that I’d had an uncle who died from bowel cancer at only 51. Immediately the doctor suggested I give a stool sample and, when the results came back positive, a colonoscopy was arranged. A small tumour was found during the procedure, which fortunately was only at stage one. My doctors recommended surgery to remove the tumour as my best option so I went ahead with an operation. No stoma was required. I started chemotherapy after surgery to help minimise...

Bobby's story (57, NSW)

1

My message to anyone out there reading this would be to stay positive and keep moving forward. Despite what I’ve been through I feel better now than I have in a long time. Prior to my diagnosis, I hadn’t been feeling well for some time. A driving holiday to Melbourne prompted me to see a doctor. I was fine sitting down but as soon as I stood up I had to rush to a toilet. Back in Sydney my GP sent me off for blood tests and a CT scan. The results showed my tumour markers were up so things were not looking good. A...

Michelle's story (35, VIC)

1

It’s not so long ago I went to the GP and told her about a few concerns I had and the symptoms that I was experiencing, which my GP considered not to be a big deal. The GP thought it was possibly haemorrhoids. I decided that I could allow myself to be more relieved, seeing as I had expressed my concerns but the GP had predominantly dismissed it being anything serious…. after all....

Ann's story (37, ACT)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 37, totally unexpected at such a young age. The only real experience I’d had with the disease was watching my grandfather live with a colostomy bag after the removal of his bowel when I was a child. But I no longer consider this an ‘old man’s disease’....

Katie's story (35, WA)

1

My brother Jeff was just 31 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He passed away nearly two years later in June 2013. He left behind his beautiful wife Nicole and two gorgeous daughters, aged six and four. Jeff did not have any symptoms that rang any alarm bells until he started to feel like he had no energy. He looked pale and we urged him to visit his doctor for some blood tests which showed him to be anaemic. He then had a colonoscopy and gastroscopy, which showed up a large doughnut- shaped tumour in his colon....

Lynette's story (73, VIC)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 72 – just two weeks shy of my 73rd birthday. I’d experienced a little bit of rectal bleeding, but initially thought it was nothing and would go away. When it didn’t, I visited my GP who recommended a colonoscopy....

Damien's story (26, VIC)

1

When I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer I did not have enough time to feel ‘sad’ or ‘worry’ too much. I am naturally an optimistic person and an ‘action man’. “I can get through this!” I thought to myself. Prior to my diagnosis at age 26, I had been experiencing dull pains in my pelvic area for 3 to 4 years, extending up through to my belly button and around to the right side of my body....

Ian's story (65, QLD)

1

“It’s an unusual birthday present, but it is probably the best gift I have received.” Ian, a retired merchant seaman, never thought the simple act of emptying his post box would ultimately save his life. At 65, Ian, like many Australians, was unaware the risk of developing bowel cancer increased with age. He was physically fit and believed he was in good health. As an active fisherman determined to make the most of his retirement, bowel cancer was the last thing on Ian’s mind....

Vicki's story (57, NSW)

1

Some people are known for their sense of humour, some for their compassion, others for their courage.  Anyone who knew bowel cancer victim Vicki Morris will tell you she was all of this and more. Vicki’s husband Peter writes:  Cancer is one of those things that you think happens to someone else and it is a shock when it comes to your own household.  It doesn’t need to be a death sentence, but the odds are difficult to beat. It takes someone exceptional to deal with it as bravely as Vicki did....

Carolyn's story (45, VIC)

1

When I was diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer in 2006, I was 45 years old. I am a wife and a mother of three (now 23, 20 & 16 years old) and an office manager.  I had no family history of bowel cancer and I led a healthy lifestyle before my diagnosis, although I was told further along the process that I carry the HNPCC gene, which is a strong indicator of the disease. ...

Mary's story (43, VIC)

1

Unlike many people, I had severe symptoms for some time before I got my diagnosis. For four weeks during the time of seeing my doctor and being diagnosed I had very bad stomach pains and was completely unable to eat.  My condition continued to deteriorate all the time – the stomach pain came and went, becoming sharper and more intense as time passed, and I was generally very sick. By the end of this 4 week period, I was unable to walk.   During this time I saw four GPs, each of whom had a different opinion...

Stacey's story (35, SA)

1

My symptoms were fairly vague.  In January 2010 I had one incident of a very upset tummy, I had had slight rectal bleeding for about 8 months but put it down to having haemorrhoids from having had a baby in the past year, and my bowel movements had been more regular. I was actually at the GP in January 2010 about getting my moles checked for cancer when right at the end I mentioned the above symptoms.  My GP who I now thank for my life, said that at my age I should have nothing and immediately referred me to a gas...

John S' story (65, NSW)

1

I was diagnosed with stage one bowel cancer at the age of 62. Everything seemed to happen so quickly. I took part in the Rotary Bowelscan program in April and in early June received notification that my test results were positive. I saw my GP on 6 June and she booked a colonoscopy for 7 July. Just four days later I was having an x-ray and CT scan, which revealed a 4cm tumour on my sigmoid colon. By the end of July I had seen a surgeon, who recommended an operation to remove the tumour and outlined my treatment options....

Stacey B's story (29, WA)

1

I went to my GP in early 2009 complaining of tiredness and lethargy, rectal bleeding and a change in my bowel habits.  But because of my age and the fact that I had recently given birth, I was given only a blood test and told that further investigation wouldn’t be necessary.  The blood test showed low iron levels so my tiredness was put down to that....

Lorraine (50, NSW)

1

We all need to know that cancer does not discriminate. I am a healthy fit woman, with no history of bowel cancer in my family, yet it affected me. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 50 after participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening program. I received the positive results approximately two weeks after sending the test away....

Monica's story (85, QLD)

1

My bowel cancer diagnosis was a huge shock. I had been experiencing frequent constipation, a general change in bowel habits and some rectal bleeding, all of which my GP felt needed further investigation. I was referred for a colonoscopy and endoscopy in order to pinpoint the source of the problem....

Helen's story (65, NSW)

1

Unlike many people, I had a lot of symptoms before I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.     I saw my doctor many times about the ongoing pains in my stomach, back and bottom and the mucous in my bowel motions but was told I was probably suffering emotional strain or irritable bowel syndrome.     I was given blood tests but they never revealed anything significant.  It felt like doctors gave me the run-around for nearly a year until I finally found one who took me seriously. ...

Richard (48, NT)

1

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2007. Ironically, I had just given up smoking and was trying to get fit. I was even riding my bike to work for exercise but I was feeling more and more tired. That’s when I knew something was wrong. Three months prior to my diagnosis, I had been experiencing stomach pains and eventually I ended up in the emergency department of hospital.   The doctors there thought I had Crohn’s disease and arranged for me to have a CT scan. That’s when they discovered the tumour....

Eve's story (51, VIC)

1

I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years, have never smoked and have drank very little alcohol – so to get bowel cancer has been such a rude awakening. I feel I no longer have the security of my health and I worry that the cancer could come back at any time… I first started feeling something was wrong in January 2008. I suffer from many auto immune problems, including Sjogren’s syndrome which causes irritable bowel type symptoms (this threw my GP off the scent and complicated the situation even more)....

Joy's story (39, NSW)

1

In May 2011 Mum began losing weight and starting experiencing pain on the right side of her abdomen. A colonoscopy discovered a large mass and she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. She was 66. Mum was treated with surgery and has since had chemotherapy. Sadly three months ago she started finding it difficult to speak. It seemed as though her nerves were not working effectively, causing her to not be able to eat or talk properly. At that point I didn’t have a good feeling about things so we went back to Mum&rsqu...

Barbara's story (60, NSW)

1

I had a bowel cancer test in November 2006 which came back all clear, therefore when symptoms started occurring in February 2007 I ignored them, at the age of 57, blamed my new job, the change of lunch hours etc. Initially the symptoms were changes in my bowel habits, rectal bleeding with froth and bubbles. Eventually the symptoms started to get serious, with some stomach pain, a heaviness in the back passage and generally feeling uncomfortable. In September 2007 I couldn’t ignore any of this any longer....

Are you at risk?

           
Both men and women are at risk of developing bowel cancer.  The risk is greater if you -

  • are aged 50 years and over; or
     
  • have a personal or family history of bowel cancer or polyps; or
     
  • have had an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

There is emerging evidence regarding type 2 diabetes as a potential risk factor for bowel cancer, however further research is required.

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Bowel Cancer Australia publishes a quarterly email Newsletter - highlighting all the latest developments in bowel cancer advocacy, awareness, education, support and research, as well as important services available to bowel cancer patients, loved ones and the community.

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Healthy eating can be a challenge, particularly for bowel cancer patients.  Making things easier and providing practical support is really important to us here at BCA, so check out the helpful high and low fibre recipes, put together by Nutrition Adviser, Teresa.

We also have a range of nutritional resources developed specifically for bowel cancer patients.