Dean Barker – Media Ambassador

Dean Barker’s face and amazing America’s Cup career is familiar territory to the New Zealand public. But what you may not know about one of our greatest ever yachtsmen is his private and courageous fight with bowel cancer.

Dean is now a proud ambassador for Bowel Cancer New Zealand, and although this very different kind of fame doesn’t sit easy for him, he knows it will be worth it. Despite being a quiet and private family man – Dean only told a few of his teammates he was undergoing treatment – he wants to get the message out there. Especially the misconception that bowel cancer is an older person’s disease.

Dean was just 46 when he was diagnosed, and although he’s not out of the woods yet, he knows that with bowel cancer, early diagnosis is key and feels “incredibly grateful” for the support and treatment he received.

“I’m working with Bowel Cancer New Zealand because if by sharing my story, I can help just one person to go and get checked out early, then it will be worth it.”

“Men are less likely to go to their doctor if they’re worried. And the old Kiwi attitudes of ‘harden up’ and ‘just get on with it’ don’t help. I want to change that. If something doesn’t feel right, go and get it checked out, no matter your age.”

Read more of Dean’s story