| Bowel Cancer Australia Ambassador
Eight years ago, Julie Meek's world was rocked when her father Stan was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
"When Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer, the overwhelming feeling was of utter disbelief because he'd always eaten very healthily but, of course, there are other factors such as genetics and physical activity," she said.
After surgery to remove 40 centimetres of his bowel and a six-month stint of chemotherapy, Stan Meek, 77, is grateful to be able to call himself a survivor.
With the experience shaking the family to the core, Ms Meek, a prominent Perth dietitian, knew she wanted to do more to help raise awareness of one of the nation's most common cancers.
"I am passionate about raising awareness about this cancer and preventing other Australians having to go through it," Ms Meek said.
"Awareness is crucial because it's estimated changes to diet – such as boosting dietary fibre intake, and reducing red meat and processed food consumption – and physical activity could reduce the incidence of bowel cancer by up to 75 per cent," she added.
The Western Australian mother-of-three, who has just been appointed as a Bowel Cancer Australia Ambassador, is a nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian, and one of the most respected sports dietitians in Australia. With over 15 years' experience in public, sports and corporate nutrition, she has helped thousands of people achieve personal success through eating well.
From the very beginning of her career, Julie Meek has ranked amongst the top nutritionists and sports dietitians in Australia, holding the position of dietitian to the Fremantle Dockers Football Club (Australian Football League) and the Perth Wildcats (National Basketball League) for five years, as well as being awarded the official title of Sports Dietitian for WAIS (Western Australian Institute of Sport).
"We're delighted to have Julie join our team of high-profile Ambassadors who have a lived-experience dealing with bowel cancer, either personally or through a loved one," said Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins.
"We look forward to working with Julie to help save lives and to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with bowel cancer," Mr Wiggins said.
Julie Meek is also an accomplished author having penned two books 'Truth, lies and chocolate' and 'Ready, Set...Go'. She is the resident dietitian on 6PR radio station in Perth and has made numerous other media appearances.