Turning 50 was a significant turning point in my life. My mother, Shirley had battled bowel cancer for several years, and with other family members affected by the disease, she pestered me to have a checkup. Her intuition proved correct with a colonoscopy detecting a tumour.

I had surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007 followed by six months of chemotherapy.

My mother passed away on the morning of my 11th treatment, leaving me with so much to thank her for. Early detection proved, once again, to be a godsend.

Sharing my story and doing voluntary work for Cancer Council SA is my way of saying thank you to my mother for saving my life.