I appreciate every message that says, “I’m thinking of you.” It keeps me going on tough days. I’m grateful to have had so many kind people reach out. But here’s the thing…
You know what gives me strength more than anything? When people tell me that I’ve inspired them to do something. That they’ve donated blood, signed up to a marathon or set up a standing donation to Bowel Cancer UK or Cancer Research.
The fact that I have spurred people into action is really remarkable. If I can help to improve the care for others, it means that my suffering won’t be for nothing.
Bowel Cancer UK are running a campaign called Get Personal which is all about improving care and making it more personalised to an individual. As a young person, I missed out on early diagnosis due to delays despite having all the symptoms. I’ve never spoken to a liver specialist. I wasn’t referred to the Polyposis Registry. I haven’t even had genetic testing done yet to confirm my FAP diagnosis so that my family can be tested.
I want to inspire you to change the system so that others don’t miss out on early diagnosis or treatments which may benefit them.
I have lost so much to my disease. I’ve lost my precious baby boy, my large colon, my fertility, my tastebuds, my hair and part of my liver but I still have my voice. And for as long as that is the case, I’ll be here asking you to please do something.
“I don’t know what to say…” is a cop out. Here’s what you can say:
- Tell me you donated blood
- Tell me you asked your MP to become a bowel cancer champion
- Tell me you’ve signed this petition to improve conditions for earlier diagnosis
- Tell me you’ve shared my blog on your social networks
Good vibes, positivity, thoughts and best wishes are kind, but they won’t ultimately fix anything. Set aside your platitudes. It’s time to do something.
I won’t give up if you won’t. 👊