| Bowel Cancer Australia Ambassador
Like most NRL players, Newcastle Knights prop/lock, Chris Heighington, has tackled many tough opponents during his career.
With more than 300 NRL games under his belt with former clubs West Tigers and Cronulla Sharks, and a premiership with each, Chris has been described as the 'heart and soul of the Club' both on and off the field.
An England international, Country NSW and NRL All Star, he brings experience and leadership to his new role at the Newcastle Knights.
However, it's the off-field personal and family challenges - like having your father diagnosed with bowel cancer - that can be the true test of a person's strength, character and resilience.
Recognised as tough, reliable and competitive on field, Chris has taken those traits and stepped up to help tackle Australia's second biggest cancer killer - raising awareness of bowel cancer in the community.
"Both my father and grandfather have been affected by bowel cancer so I'm really proud to be able to support Bowel Cancer Australia as an Ambassador."
Chris was overseas representing England in the 2011 Rugby League Four Nations when his father Tom first learnt he had bowel cancer. Not wanting to interrupt Chris's international commitments, the family initially kept the news from him.
Since then his relationship with his father, affectionately called "Big Dog", has been one of mutual support through the ups and downs of life including the roller-coaster ride of bowel cancer treatment.
Chris has enthusiastically lent his support to the charity’s annual Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Decembeard campaigns and was the face of Bowel Cancer Australia's Do You Have the Guts? initiative – a pharmacy-based campaign encouraging men to screen for bowel cancer.