May 3, 2019

Bowel Cancer NZ Supporters

“Just face the fear of knowing: the sooner you do, the greater the hope.”

Sports commentator, Jenny-May Clarkson, is taking on the Move your Butt challenge this June to help more Kiwis beat bowel cancer. She’s still deciding what her challenge is going to be, but as someone who currently moves at least six days a week, she’s happy to push herself even further if it’ll help save more lives.

Jenny-May lost her brother to bowel cancer at age 56, so she knows first hand how important it is to seek help early. “I believe he knew something wasn’t right. While he had all the classic symptoms, I’m not certain he was aware that it was cancer.”

She’s taking on the Move your Butt challenge to raise awareness of bowel cancer and its symptoms. “Cancer is such as hideous thing, no matter what kind of cancer it is. But because my brother died of bowel cancer, I’m acutely aware of it.”

Jenny-May’s brother had many of the classic symptoms of bowel cancer–he couldn’t sleep and was tired all the time, had a sore back and stomach pains. By the time he was diagnosed, it was already advanced and he spent two years undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy before finally succumbing to the disease.

Understandably, Jenny-May is passionate about encouraging New Zealanders to seek help or at the very least, have a conversation with someone about it.

“It’s about encouraging people to seek help when they know something isn’t quite right and to overcome that fear of not knowing, or of dying. If you do find out you have cancer, you won’t necessarily die of it –if you get help early enough.”

“When I talk to kids about their sporting goals, I tell them to ‘face the fear and do it anyway’. With cancer, it’s about flipping that. Just face the fear of knowing: the sooner you do, the greater the hope.”