1 October 2021

Shining a spotlight on the biggest cancer killer of Australians aged 25-34

Yvonne Tozzi together with her daughters Cheyenne Tozzi and Tahyna MacManus, have thrown their support behind the Foundation’s ‘Trust Your Gut’  campaign.

Spearheaded by an emotional commercial, the campaign raises awareness of some of the common bowel cancer symptoms and urges Australians have a conversation with their GP if they experience any symptoms, regardless of their age.

At the age of 42, Australian model Yvonne experienced severe stomach cramps, which is a symptom of bowel cancer. Trusting her gut and speaking with her doctor when she first noticed the cramps saved her life.

“What saved my life was listening to my instinct. Knowing I had to get it checked out.”, said Yvonne.

“I was 42 and a mother to two young girls when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I just couldn’t believe it had happened to me,
thankfully I caught it early enough and was able to make a full recovery. I want to raise awareness for both women and men of any age group to be aware of the symptoms and speak with their doctor early. We can save lives.” said Yvonne.

Early detection and intervention can make all the difference to the survival of someone diagnosed with bowel cancer. Yvonne’s daughter, Australian model and actor, Cheyenne Tozzi knows it is important to highlight the symptoms in the hope that more people are detected in the early stages.

“I believe we all get scared to do checkups and always fear the worst, but it’s best to catch anything sooner rather than later”, said Cheyenne.

Yvonne’s daughter, Australian director, writer and producer Tahyna MacManus said “It’s important for people to be aware that bowel cancer can affect anyone at any age, it’s not just an old person’s disease. If something doesn’t seem right, please visit your GP.”

Tahyna explains why being involved in the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation’s ‘Trust Your Gut’ campaign is important to her; “I want to support my mother in her campaign to bring about awareness for bowel cancer. Being a mother myself, I couldn’t imagine the thoughts that she lay awake with when diagnosed. If I can spare any family suffering from a shock diagnosis by adding my voice, I will do it.”

“When Mum first shared her diagnosis I was in a daze, I couldn’t imagine my life without my mother. I was so terrified and thought it was an immediate death sentence but thankfully she caught the disease early enough to make a full recovery.” said Tahyna.

Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation founder and Chair, Nick Lee established the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation in 2010 after losing his wife Jodi Lee to bowel cancer at age 41. Nick explains; “Early detection of bowel cancer increases the chance of survival, which is why people need to get symptoms checked out as soon as they notice them. Through this campaign, the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation is urging Australians to ‘Trust Your Gut’.

Regardless of your age, speak to your GP immediately if you experience any bowel cancer symptoms.”

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms to look out for and to speak with your GP immediately if you notice them are:
• Unexplained tiredness or weight loss
• Stomach pain
• Blood in your poo, bleeding from your bottom or blood in the toilet bowl
• A change in bowel habits for more than two weeks (such as going to the toilet more frequently, constipation or loose or watery bowel movements)

Click here for the full list of symptoms.

Many of us will experience uncomfortable gut symptoms at one time or another such as bloating, cramping, gas or unexplained tiredness. Many of us will explain it away as being diet related or stress. Some will Google irritable bowel syndrome or put it down to ‘not being as young or as fit as we used to be’. Even fewer of us will ask our doctor about our symptoms. We want our ‘Trust Your Gut’ campaign to change that.

Bowel cancer statistics in Australia
• If detected early, up to 99% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated or even prevented.
• Bowel cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death.
• 16,000 Australians diagnosed each year.
• Bowel cancer claims a life every 2 hours.
• Bowel cancer claims the lives of more 25-34 year-olds than any other cancer.

View the campaign here.

Campaign partners

We thank our campaign partners TerryWhite Chemmart, UTONIC and ORTC Clothing Co. for their support in helping us amplify our message.

To increase awareness of the importance of the early detection and prevention of bowel cancer, the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer
Foundation ‘Trust Your Gut’ campaign will also be supported:

– nationally through TerryWhite Chemmart in-store and online throughout the month of October.
– through limited-edition Jodi Lee Foundation branded Utonic Sparkling Pomegranate Kombucha stocked
throughout the month of October in Cibo cafes and online at www.utonic.com, with part proceeds
supporting the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation’s work.
– through ORTC Clothing Co. donating 3.4% of all online sales for the month of October.