“Late last year I experienced stomach problems that eventuated into a diagnosis of Stage 3 bowel cancer. Being a healthy, fit person who just turned 39. To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

Right away I had surgery to remove a 7cm tumour from my colon and I recently completed 6 months of chemotherapy. At this stage of the journey there is still a lot of uncertainty but I’m confident about my chances for survival. I’m not yet a cancer survivor, I’m a cancer fighter.

From the moment I recovered from surgery I started doing laps at our local pool. 30 minutes a day every day has now become an important ritual for my treatment and recovery, and I attribute my ongoing positivity to the meditative effects of cruising through the water.

I had some very dark moments since my diagnosis, and I attribute meeting the kind folks at Bowel Cancer Australia to helping me cope with my situation. I've never had a serious medical issue before and have been overwhelmed by the amount of love, compassion and dedication that these wonderful humans put into their work.

As a personal challenge, and to raise funds and awareness, I took on the 2.5km South Maroubra Ocean Swim in support of Bowel Cancer Australia. I had originally planned to complete the 2.4km Coogee Island Swim but the event was cancelled due to bad weather.

I am thankful to everyone who donated and supported me, for their contribution to this cause, which means so much to me. Together we raised over $14,000 towards fighting bowel cancer!

⁠Bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Australia and is on the rise for young people. Bowel cancer in young people is often found at later stages because it is a common misconception that it is 'an old person's disease' and these symptoms get ignored or put down to a persistent bad stomach.

⁠If something isn't right, speak to your doctor. If caught in time, almost 99 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.” ~ Braian.

0396 BCA Nov 2023 Supporters in Action Braian Szwarcberg Poch 1520x320

In June 2024, we’re embarking on an epic trekking adventure in the heart of the Australian outback, and we want you to join us! Find out how you can participate in the Hike For Health and trek the Larapinta Trail with Bowel Cancer Australia here.