My story begins a short time before my 30th birthday. Nick Lee, founder of the Jodi Lee Foundation, came and gave a presentation during our company-wide communication session. Nick’s own story hit me ‘right in the feels’ because my brother in law (in his 40’s with 3 children) is in the final throes of a losing battle with the disease.
At the end of the presentation, our CEO announced that they had purchased everyone in the company a test kit and offered a discounted rate if we wanted to buy more kits for family or friends. I bought an extra couple for my sister and girlfriend.
I had moved in with my girlfriend only a few weeks beforehand and, as a shy pooper at the best of times, took a few weeks before I did the test. It was far easier and less dramatic than I imagined it would be.
A few weeks later I received a phone call at work from my GP’s office asking me to come and see him straight away. My heart sank and fear set in. When I arrived home, I found a letter in the mailbox stating that my test had come back positive for blood – more fear set in.
The following day I met with the GP. He was amused and confused why I had even taken the test but thrilled when I explained the work visit from Nick. He said although I’m young and have no symptoms, I had to see a specialist just to rule things out. After giving me some statistics about how unlikely it was that I had anything wrong, I left feeling a little better.
The specialist had much the same reaction and explained it was very very unlikely he’d find anything, but a colonoscopy was an exhilarating formality we had to take.
When I awoke from the colonoscopy I was told that the specialist wanted to see me straight away. I was wheeled in to see him (still groggy from the anaesthetic) and met with a stunned, almost sheepish looking specialist. He said he was in disbelief, but he had found and removed 6 polyps which were sent for biopsy.
I have since been informed that of the 6 removed, 2 were ‘nasty ones’ and if left untreated would have likely turned.
I can’t express my thanks to Nick and to REDARC strongly enough. Without their conscious efforts to spread the word (and the extremely fortuitous luck I’ve had), I’d likely be in the same boat as my brother in law in a few years’ time. THANKYOU.
For anyone who hasn’t done a screening test: please, PLEASE do one – it has more than likely saved my life.