Andrea’s story – the stoma that saved her life

3 April 2019

My Great Aunty

I recently found out my Great Aunty used to sew stoma bags over 80 years ago. I bet while she was sat at her machine she would never have thought her future Great Niece would be wearing one…

I’m Andrea and I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, aged 37.

I needed major surgery to remove the tumour and also my large bowel, which resulted in me wearing a stoma bag. That’s when you have a pouch fitted outside your body to collect your poo.

Being diagnosed with bowel cancer, well that was a bombshell, and you could say the day I was told was the day my life changed.

Raising awareness

That’s why I’m passionate about sharing my story and raising awareness of bowel cancer as it’s the UK’s second biggest cancer killer even though nearly everyone survives if diagnosed at the earliest stage. And April is particularly important as it’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on the disease and support Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity.

I’ve been a supporter of Bowel Cancer UK for a while now and they’re amazing! They have an online community, a welcoming place for everyone affected by bowel cancer to ask questions, read about people’s experiences and support each other. And they also campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care, educate the public and professionals about the disease and support and fund targeted research.

Saving lives

Having a stoma has saved my life and it means so much to me that my Great Aunty cared about people in the same situation all those years ago.

Just imagine, a gift in your Will to Bowel Cancer UK might save your Great Niece’s life in 80 years’ time. Or it might even stop someone in future generations of your family from getting bowel cancer in the first place. It’s an amazing thought and I hope that this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month you’ll think about leaving a gift in your Will to Bowel Cancer UK.

Find out more here or get in touch with Helen Read at Bowel Cancer UK by emailing helen.read@bowelcanceruk.org.uk or calling 020 7940 1760.

You can read more of my story here. And if you want to stay updated on what’s going on throughout Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, follow Bowel Cancer UK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.