“My sister Sarah was 34 and a new mum when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and 35 when it took her life. She experienced three weeks of stomach pains before she was given a terminal diagnosis and 18 months to live. She started treatment immediately and lost her battle 10.5 months later.
Sadly, her story is not unique. The rates of bowel cancer in adults under 50 have been rising, and young-onset patients are more likely to be diagnosed in Stage 3 or 4 when the disease is harder to treat.
My family has always been very close and losing Sarah to bowel cancer was absolutely devastating for us. It had a huge impact on my life. At 29 I gave up a job, ended a relationship, and moved states to help care for Sarah and her daughter, Eliza, who was only five months old when she was diagnosed. It was incredibly painful to watch her endure treatment after treatment until there were no options left.
No individual or family should have to endure what we did, and it is Bowel Cancer Australia's mission to have an everlasting impact where no Australian dies from bowel cancer and all those diagnosed receive the support they need. Everyone thinks that it will not happen to them until it does.
Whilst I think it is hugely important to talk about life beyond cancer, it is also important to talk to those who face a terminal diagnosis at a young age, their carers and loved ones.
Please support Bowel Cancer Australia this Dry July and donate what you can to raise vital funds for people affected by bowel cancer, who need us now, more than ever.” ~ Diana.