Beating bowel cancer together

"I wanted to fundraise to say thank you. They held my hand all the way through my treatment." Why I signed up to Step up for 30

Friday 5 March 2021

Step up for 30 is really simple, just get active every day in April and ask people to sponsor you. We spoke to five people who took part last year about why they signed up to the fundraiser.

Brenda Hutchinson, from Dartford, took part in Step up for 30 to support her husband who was being treated for the disease:

I signed up last year because David had just had emergency surgery for bowel cancer, being discharged days before lockdown. We were very fortunate that his treatment was carried out without any hitches. Even so, in those early, scary days when the world seemed to be in a state of fear and confusion, we were able to get advice and information through Bowel Cancer UK.

When I saw Step up for 30 being promoted I realised that I had an opportunity to give something back to the charity which had been so hard hit by lockdown, and also a reason to make time for myself. I used my Facebook account to tell people what I was doing and raised nearly £700.

Philip Young, from Bishop Auckland, signed up to the fundraiser as a way of recovering after surgery:

At the start of 2020, I had major bowel surgery and it took several weeks before I could walk the short length of the village where I live. Step up for 30 was a perfect incentive to help my recovery and try to get stronger after my surgery. I also wanted to support a charity that is very close to my heart (or should I say bowel).

As I was shielding, I did all of my exercises in my house on a treadmill, or using YouTube workout videos. I managed to do some exercise every day, which not only helped my physical fitness but my mental health too.

Patricia Evans, from Weston-Super-Mare, joined in with Step up for 30 in memory of her dad:

My dad was only 59 when he died from bowel cancer. It was a huge loss to our family. My activity for the month was walking, which I really enjoyed. Sometimes I walked with friends but often on my own. I was much fitter by the end too. It was on these walks that I realised, to my surprise, just how much I still think about my dad even after all these years – I'm now in my 80th year.

We are a family of six children and we never knew our dad as an adult. He never got to be at our weddings or see his grandchildren. Our mum was left to carry on his small business because our youngest brothers were still at school. His death brought hardship as well as sadness and left a gaping hole in our family. Bowel cancer cut short our dad's life. That is why I want to support the charity – to help stop this happening to other people.

Lisa Brewster, from Hemel Hempstead, marked 20 years since her diagnosis by completing Step up for 30:

I was 27 when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I was, at that time, the youngest person the hospital had ever treated for the disease, with no previous family history. On 6 June 2000 I underwent a bowel resection followed by six months of chemotherapy – and I'm still here!

The anniversary felt like the perfect time to give something back. Another big operation in January, followed by lockdown left me a bit (lot!) out of shape. I owe it to those who saved my life to look after this body. The lack of gyms and my arthritic knees means I needed to be inventive so I mixed it up with walks, short runs, yoga, and trying out new things I found on YouTube.

Emma Critchley, from Jersey, took part to say thank you to the charity:

When I first fell ill and was questioning my symptoms it was Bowel Cancer UK's website that made me realise it could be bowel cancer and I needed to go to the doctors. When I was diagnosed with the disease it was the online community that offered me support and reassurance. It's scary dealing with cancer when you have two young children.

Bowel Cancer UK and its fantastic community gave me hope and it held my hand all the way through my treatment. I finished treatment at the end of 2019 and my latest scan showed no sign of cancer. I did Step up for 30 because I wanted to say thank you. I wanted to raise money for a fantastic charity. I was one of the lucky ones but I realise there are so many families losing loved ones and I wanted to do something to help.


Sign up to Step up for 30 today

Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.
Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

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