Beating bowel cancer together

Why Reg is leaving a gift in his Will to us

Monday 9 September 2019

This week is Remember a Charity Week where 200 of the nation’s favourite charities come together to raise awareness of the importance of leaving a gift to a charity in your Will. Reg Bull was diagnosed with bowel cancer over 30 years ago and he shares with us why he’s chosen to remember the charity in his will.

In early 1988, I noticed blood and mucus in my poo, severe weight loss and a lack of energy. I went to my GP four times about my symptoms, which were getting worse. Eventually I was referred for an x-ray and they confirmed a malignant tumour in my bowel.  I was 53.

I had surgery to remove the tumour, which went extremely well. However for months following my surgery, the fear of cancer returning occupied my thoughts constantly. I fell into chronic depression and was prescribed both anti-depressants and tranquilising medication, which although helped somewhat, left me feeling like a zombie. Then I turned to alcohol for comfort and things got even worse. I decided I would either have to end my life or stop drinking.

Fortunately I chose the latter and to help with my negative thoughts I returned to my love of painting. This allowed me to express my feelings through art. I did this painting of Eilean Donan castle, near to the Isle of Skye, at the time I was recovering from surgery after my bowel cancer. It shows my sombre feelings at that time.

So, thanks to the support of my wife and by putting my feelings into my art, I’ve turned my life around and no longer drink. Since then, my life has been extremely good. I now enjoy a healthy lifestyle, full of outdoor and indoor activities like motor-homing, oil-painting, reading and gardening. And I’ve had regular colonoscopies every five years since.

Now I want to help others facing bowel cancer so I’ve decided to leave my oil paintings to Bowel Cancer UK in my Will, including that painting of Eilean Donan castle. I want to leave something behind and will be pleased if my donation helps just one person like me.

Find out how you can leave a gift in your Will too. No matter the size, any donation will help people facing bowel cancer in the future.

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