Dahlia was just 27 years old and the healthiest she had ever been when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Dahlia noticed a bit of redness in her stool on 24 September 2018, and for the remainder of that week. Then on 1 October 2018, a week after passing blood in her stool for the first time, Dahlia noticed her stool had become pure blood and she went to the doctor immediately.
The doctor ultimately saved her life, recommending she have a colonoscopy straight away. It was then that Dahlia found out she had bowel cancer.
Throughout her chemotherapy treatments, Dahlia was on a mission to connect with fellow young bowel cancer patients around the world with ‘Chemo Themeo’, where she documented her chemotherapy treatments, dressing up in various themed costumes, including Marilyn Monroe, Evil Chem-Evil, a belly dancer and a lifesaver to help bring good humour while undergoing treatment.
Dahlia also posted photos on her Instagram page, @dahlia.com.au showing her ileostomy bag to help raise awareness that bowel cancer impacts young adults and to help break the stigma people so often have about discussing not only bowel cancer, but anything poo-related.
Dahlia was a co-host on the podcast ‘25StayAlive’ with fellow Jodi Lee Foundation Youth Ambassador @hugotoovey, who was also diagnosed with bowel cancer in his 20s.
As a Jodi Lee Foundation Youth Ambassador, Dahlia wants to encourage people, no matter their age, that if there is something not quite right to seek medical help.