Actor Ben Richards becomes a patron
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
As Bowel Cancer Awareness Month gets underway this April, Bowel
Cancer UK is delighted to announce a new patron for the charity -
actor Ben Richards, known to millions through his roles in The Bill
and Footballers' Wives.
Now in remission, 40 year old Ben was diagnosed with bowel
cancer in January 2012 - when he got the shocking news that he had
a 6cm cancerous tumour.
"We're thrilled that Ben has agreed to be a patron of the
charity", commented Deborah Alsina, CEO of Bowel Cancer UK.
"We've just launched a campaign called 'Never Too Young' to
highlight the issues confronting younger people with bowel cancer,
and with Ben's help, we can encourage more people to recognise the
symptoms, visit their GP and ultimately, save lives. Early
diagnosis is key."
Despite symptoms which lasted for about five months, such as
blood in his stools, Ben had put off seeing his GP. "I was being a
typical bloke," he said. Two days later he got the "bolt out of the
blue" diagnosis. He is hoping that by speaking out about his
illness, Ben will encourage others to visit their GPs, too.
Following his diagnosis, Ben underwent chemotherapy and
radiotherapy, surgery and then a further operation following
complications - just weeks before embarking on a national theatre
tour last year, performing in up to nine shows a week of the hit
musical, 9 to 5.
Ben said: "Too many younger people like me are getting
bowel cancer. I'm really looking forward to working with
Bowel Cancer UK, making more people aware of the issues that
younger patients face and encouraging them to visit their GP, even
when they only have one of the symptoms."
Ben has also been supporting our Never too young campaign to raise
awareness of bowel cancer in patients under the age of 50.