“The reason why I am so passionate about bowel cancer is due to my dad being diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 50.

My dad was bulletproof and rarely went to the doctors, hardly even got a cold. Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer following a colonoscopy detection. It shook the whole family. He underwent surgery to have it removed and then underwent chemotherapy for several months.

Following dad’s initial diagnosis, I shared my own concerns with my doctor about a couple of blood episodes in the toilet which he put down to haemorrhoids. I was told I'm too young to have a colonoscopy, not necessary (age 27).

My doctor said you would not need to have a colonoscopy until at least the age of 40, ten years before my dad’s diagnosis, because that’s what the doctors are told by the analytics and studies. I completed a poo test kit (the ones you get in the mail) off my own back, came back negative. I forced my doctor to send me for a colonoscopy because I saw what dad was going through and I wanted to be sure.

To my shock and my doctors, I had a 5mm polyp and a 25mm polyp removed during the colonoscopy. A biopsy further discovered high-grade cells at the base of the 25mm polyp.

My specialist who I met after the colonoscopy said that the polyp could have very well been cancerous in two years. My specialist asked me, ‘What made you come here?’, I said ‘My gut instinct’. I went back 3 months later to have a follow up colonoscopy (all clear).

I now routinely have colonoscopy appointments every 2-3 years because the doctors don’t want to take any chances and neither do I.

For the record, my Dad kicked cancers arse and just recently celebrated his 60 birthday! Thanks for reading my story, I hope this helps raise further awareness to get checked.” ~ Rick.

If you were inspired by Rick's fundraising activities and would like to support Bowel Cancer Australia through a community fundraiser get in touch with us through our webform