Star of Hope Christmas Appeal
Thank you to everyone who donated to our Star of Hope Appeal this year. We are extremely grateful for all the moving messages and donations made to stop people dying from bowel cancer. Here are just a few of the messages left.
- "Still sparkling mate! Living on in all of us, you brightest of stars. We're keeping on keeping on as you would have wanted. Much love x"
- "Thinking about all who have been given the all clear, those who are still living with it and my family and friends whom we've lost over the years to Bowel Cancer xx"
- "Missing you and your infectious personality. You had such a fantastic outlook on life and even when you were ill stayed strong for all of those around you. You are greatly missed by us all and in all of our thoughts, especially when we see a rainbow. I know you'll be the brightest star in the sky. All my love xxx"
- "Sending massive thanks that after a diagnosis early 2013 I am still here to enjoy Christmas 2016 and many more. Thank you also for early diagnosis of my nephew who is still with us."
- "2016 - the year my mum taught me what courage, determination, strength and pride really mean!! We love you Mum. Stay strong Xxx"
- "To my beautiful husband, and my hero, Allan. I Miss absolutely everything with you and speak to our baby girls about you all the time. I hope you have found peace and happiness. Enjoy your favourite time of year with the angels. 'Just keep swimming'. Ti amo"
- "To our darling Joanna. Shine bright beautiful angel. We miss you always. For all those gone too soon and for those fighting a battle with this devastating disease. Stay strong. xxx."
- "Dad, this is our second Christmas without you and although slightly less painful and raw this year we miss you just the same. The table feels empty and there is still beer in the fridge haha. I know that you are watching over us, I feel you! I thought this was a great way to remember you this Xmas as you are a star. In fact you are the brightest star in the sky- Tyler pointed you out only last week!! Merry Christmas Dad - I love you xx"
The impact of your support
Bowel cancer screening - Our years of campaigning for a more effective bowel cancer screening test have paid off. Scotland, England and Wales have approved the new, more accurate FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) which will help diagnose more people early. We’re working to ensure FIT is introduced as quickly as possible and will keep the pressure on Northern Ireland to do the same.
Lynch syndrome - There are an estimated 175,000 people in the UK with Lynch syndrome – a genetic condition which dramatically increases the risk of cancer. But only a handful of people with this group know about their high risk. We’re working to change this. Our campaign has already helped put this issue on the map and now we’re calling on UK health ministers to stop more families being devastated by cancer – join us.
A new diagnostic tool for younger patients - Our research shows that many younger people are being diagnosed late— when the chance of survival is low. To change this we’re developing a new tool with leading experts to help GPs identify younger people so they can be referred quickly for life-saving tests.
Research - Our research activity is currently focused on investigating the gaps in bowel cancer research and supporting and engaging with major research projects, such as the 100,000 genomes programme and the CORGI trial, so we can increase our knowledge of the causes of bowel cancer. In 2017 we will publish the results of our ground-breaking critical gaps in bowel cancer research project and our long term research strategy which will outline how we can save thousands more lives in the future.
Raising public awareness - We have over 120 trained volunteers across the UK all with personal experience of bowel cancer who give talks in workplaces and community groups. This award winning programme raises awareness of signs and symptoms, risk factors and screening. Our evaluation shows that after attending a talk people are more likely take part in screening and visit their GP if they have any concerns. In 2015 we reached 7,000 people face to face with our volunteer talks.
Educating professionals - We have the only dedicated bowel cancer health promotion and training team in the UK supporting professionals across the healthcare sector from those working in public health through to doctors and nurses. Our work allows these professionals to cascade our key messages so that more people are diagnosed early and ensures those providing treatment and care are up to date with latest research and clinical developments. So far this year we have trained 400 professionals across the healthcare sector.
Our work helps ensure more people are diagnosed early and there are more stories of hope like Pauline’s and Derek’s.
"I am very grateful to the screening programme for diagnosing my tumour so early. My daughter has recently had a baby boy – our first grandchild, and my son’s wife is also pregnant through IVF and is due in March next year. We have a lot to thank medical research for! I would encourage people to do the test and not be embarrassed about it. It could be life-saving.” Read Pauline's story here.
"It is really important to raise awareness of bowel cancer screening as it saved me. For the past four years I’ve been a volunteer with Bowel Cancer UK giving talks about the importance of bowel cancer screening and offering advice to others going through treatment.” Read Derek's story here.