Wearing his beard with fatherly pride this Decembeard.
I lost my 26 year old son Dean to bowel cancer in 2013.
There was no history of bowel cancer on either side of our family.
Losing a child is something you don’t recover from.
The whole experience was horrible – to see a healthy young man deteriorate like that, and there is nothing you can do.
It’s something no parent, no one, should go through.
As his Mum said, ‘We have to wake up each morning to the horror of him not being with us anymore.’
I have not participated in Decembeard before, except to donate to one of my son’s friend’s funds, but this year I wanted to get involved directly.
I’m hoping my participation will help to spread the message that you’re never too young to be told you have bowel cancer, and to encourage Australians to seek help when something seems wrong.
As soon as something doesn’t feel right make an appointment to talk to your GP, because if detected early 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.
One of Dean’s closest friends, Anthony organised a team of Dean’s mates called “Deano’s Bearded Stallions,” in honour of Dean and to raise awareness about bowel cancer, particularly in young people.
I’m planning to use my beard to encourage conversations about bowel cancer in men and hopefully get more people to support Bowel Cancer Australia as a result.
More than 8,000 men will be diagnosed with bowel cancer this year, and around 560 (7%) of them are under the age of 50, like my son Dean.
Giving back, raising funds for Bowel Cancer Australia and supporting others who might be going through what my son and our family did, helps me to stay positive when I start to get down about things.
I hope you’ll join me this Decembeard and help Bowel Cancer Australia to help save lives.