Kieran’s story

My family will forever be grateful to the Jodi Lee Foundation, because if my sister and I didn’t screen for bowel cancer when we did, our futures would have been grim.

I was 34 years old when I attended the Foundation’s Workplace Prevention Program through my employer GE. The presentation wasn’t compulsory, but my mother-in-law had recently battled bowel cancer, so I decided to go along to find out more about what she had been through. That proved to be a life-saving decision.

Everyone at the presentation was given the opportunity to take home a screening test. I took the test and my result came back positive, so I visited my GP who referred me to a colonoscopy centre in my area.

Four colonoscopies and an endoscopy later, I had more growths removed that I care to count. My surgeon told me in no uncertain terms that the test kit saved my life and, given I had no symptoms, I should be extremely grateful that I got tested in the first place. If I had waited another 12 months my test results and hopes for the future would have been seriously different.

I was also told my immediate family should be checked out – a piece of advice that saw my younger sister having growths removed too. She was 32 years old at the time and told she would not have made it to 40 years of age if she hadn’t screened.

I am still on a high risk list and have many more fun times ahead with colonoscopies, but lets face it, it sure beats the alternative.

Thank you. On behalf of my kids, my wife, my nephew and my sister, and of course me, for starting this excellent foundation and spreading the word about screening.