“I’m 40, married with three kids. I’m 96kg, 180cm tall and can count on one hand how many times I have been to a doctor. On November 12 2021, after noticing a lump on my neck, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer.
Cancer was never on my radar; I have minimal family history and have luckily been healthy all of my life. A cancer diagnosis was a huge shock for me and my family. 12 November is a day I won’t forget, life changed forever,” says young-onset bowel cancer patient Shaun.
“Since being diagnosed I have learnt two critical things about bowel cancer. One is that bowel cancer can get anyone. Young or old, it doesn’t matter. I have been shocked at how many other young, otherwise heathy people have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. It can touch any family.
I have also learnt of the rapid improvements in treatment over the past 10 years. To put in bluntly my chances of cure 10 years ago would have been slim and my outlook very uncertain. Whilst there are still no guarantees new drugs and treatment methods have given me a good chance of remission or at the very least many more years with my family. That’s why fundraising is so important.
Research from fundraising has made a big difference in improving treatments to date and will make sure the 15,000 people diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, plus the 100’s of thousands already with cancer, have more time with their loved ones, better quality of life and the best chance of beating the big C,” Shaun adds.
Helping to spread the word that young people can be diagnosed with bowel cancer too, Shaun’s sister-in-law Leisha, family and friends have been doing a wonderful job fundraising more than $3,700 through Facebook in support of Bowel Cancer Australia since his diagnosis. With a chocolate fundraiser also ongoing.