Every individual can contribute towards change

Melbourne, VIC

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Bowel cancer may not be the first thing that springs to mind for your typical teenager but for a group of students from the St Leonard’s College, it was a desire to bring the school community together to champion a significant cause affecting thousands of Australians which saw them plan a week of activities culminating in a head shave.

 “Given that bowel cancer is treatable and beatable if caught in its early stages, it is shocking to us that it is the second deadliest cancer for Australians,” says Angus Kennedy who together with his mates organised a series of events to raise awareness and funds.

Through speeches, a bake sale and the head shave, the students put bowel cancer awareness in the spotlight with the goal of fostering conversation amongst students, staff and their families.
“We believe that every individual can contribute towards change so we wanted to not only reduce the stigma and embarrassment people attach to the subject but also highlight the steps you can take to prevent it.”

Chloe Chin, another organiser shares, “Everyone in our group had a personal reason for wanting to support Bowel Cancer Australia so we were pleased that we were able to raise awareness and that the school community was so receptive to it.”

The students have raised over $8,000 towards bowel cancer but as Chloe says – “It was more important to start a conversation and make people aware of the risks and symptoms.”

Angus signs off with, “Most of our parents are close to the age where the risk of bowel cancer starts to rise so we really wanted to do something meaningful for such a wonderful cause.”

In April 2018, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released a report which revealed bowel cancer cases in adolescents and young adults (15 - 24 years) have increased 186% in the past three decades.

The five-year relative survival for young Australians aged 15-24 diagnosed with bowel cancer was 87.3%, which means that these young people had around an eight in ten chance of surviving five years after diagnosis relative to comparable people in the general population. Read more

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