In September this year, my Mum passed away after a long battle with bowel cancer. She was diagnosed after completing the home test kit, sent out to her at age 65.
Mum toiled away for 5 years and was still a fighter all the way to the end. Her stoic attitude and strength through the whole process was an inspiration to her large family and social group. Her classic reply after each setback or return of the disease after a seemingly successful surgery was to just get on with living.
My wife, who is an experienced hospital social worker and has worked for years in that field, was able to provide great support and insight into the impact that someone dying from cancer can have on their loved ones and on the need that some of the lesser known strains of the illness have for greater awareness.
Even though its Australia’s 2nd biggest cancer killer, people generally aren’t aware of how important and easy it is to get checked early and take action to prevent it from spreading. That’s why when we came across the Decembeard campaign I decided to get on board.
People that know me will agree that I’m not known for having any facial hair growing prowess, so I suspect I may have a few surprised faces by the end of December, including my own – I’m not sure what will sprout!
But what I do know is that by doing this, I will raise some important funds and awareness around my family and friends to get checked, not just for bowel cancer, but to also just go for that check up with you GP – particularly when you think it might be one of those embarrassing scenarios.