Ambassador profile – Chelsea Halliwell
Life was trucking along beautifully for Chelsea Halliwell in August 2015. She’d established her own business, the children were moving out of the challenging infant stage, and the family were taking a break in Wanaka.
Chelsea was 39, fit, well, and bullet-proof when she opened the local paper there to see a story about a Wellington woman’s diagnosis with bowel cancer. It talked about the symptoms often being mild or invisible, and including blood in the stool – something she had – although not for long, and intermittently. Beetroot for dinner, she’d thought.
An alarm bell rang, and fortunately Chelsea got over her reluctance and made an appointment with her GP. Her stage 3 cancer diagnosis came as an enormous shock, and it was a whirlwind five days until 70% of her bowel was removed. Six months of intense chemotherapy followed.
Now, Chelsea has well and truly bounced out the other side, living proof that raising awareness of bowel cancer saves lives, and she’s committed to doing the same for others.
Last year, she ran the St Clair half marathon, raising funds for BCNZ, and she’s passionate about sharing her story, telling anyone who will listen.
“Bowel cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It doesn’t just happen to ‘other people’, or to people of the age to get screened for it. It’s real, and it’s killing more people in New Zealand than any other cancer. For the cost of a check-up, and a little modesty, see your doctor, and keep seeing them until you get the answers you need. You’re worth it,” she says.
You can read more of Chelsea’s story here