Nick was on holiday in Scotland with his wife Rebecca in July 2023 and whilst they were talking to a friend about her battle with bowel cancer, little did Nick know he had been living with the same disease for over a year.
When Nick and Rebecca arrived home to Willunga, South Australia from their trip, Nick noticed blood and mucus in his stools.
He went to the doctor and had his blood, faeces and urine tested, yet all the results came back okay. Thankfully Nick and his doctor did not accept these results, and after another week of symptoms Nick went in for a colonoscopy.
He was told he has stage three bowel cancer and had been living with it for 18 months. The 39-year-old was shocked by the diagnosis; he had always been fit and healthy and was conscious of what he put in his body.
When the doctor told him the news, Nick immediately thought of his children, five-year-old Finlay and two-year-old Flora, who continue to not know their dad’s health struggle. Nick believes the “silver lining” to his diagnosis is knowing he can ensure his children are tested every year from 25 years old.
Nick is passionate about sharing his story to inspire people to be proactive with their health. At 39 years old, bowel cancer wasn’t even on his radar until he began having symptoms.
Nick, who is the winemaker at Stoke Wines on Kangaroo Island, had his first round of chemotherapy in September 2023. His treatment schedule is 18 weeks of chemo, a two-week break, six weeks of radiotherapy, a three month break, then surgery.
Nick was named in the top 50 Young Gun of Wine winemakers in 2020/21 and also won the 2023 ‘Vigneron of the Year’ trophy. Sadly due to his diagnosis he has had to take a step back from the physical aspects of the winery. Thankfully he has had incredible support from the wine community and volunteers have even been tending to the vineyards in Nick’s absence.
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