Hally’s story

I am 30 years old. I have led a very healthy life, have never smoked and only occasionally drink alcohol. I have spent much of my life as an elite athlete representing Australia in rowing.

I didn’t have any symptoms, not one, but I was lucky. I was aware I had a predisposition to bowel cancer due to an autoimmune condition, so I kept on top of my health with regular checks. That is how I came to be diagnosed with Stage I bowel cancer.

I had a very hard time with the surgery, ending up in intensive care with complications. It was an extremely difficult time for my family.

I am learning to live with a stoma, which is permanent, but a small price to pay to have eliminated the cancer and the chance of its return.

I am so sad to read of how The Jodi Lee Foundation came about. My heart goes out to Jodi’s family and to a woman I have never met but who I completely identify with. What an amazing woman. I too am a mother of two young children and feel so passionate about everything The Jodi Lee Foundation represents.

A lot of awareness exists around other cancers, but bowel cancer seems to be up there with the most devastating, as the symptoms are practically non existent until it’s too late, and there are many misconceptions about it being older persons disease.

My main desire is to reinforce the message that you’re never too young to have bowel cancer, but also to highlight the importance of staying on top of checks if you have a predisposition due to family history or your own circumstances.