March 12, 2024

This is Rachael Ferguson – she was 32 years old when diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer.

“I became aware of the amount of young people in similar positions to mine, some of which are no longer with us, and that pill is tough to swallow,” says Rachael, one of our passionate community ambassadors.

“I shared my story after my surgery in February 2021 because once I learned about the signs and symptoms, the urge to let others know and just be aware overcame me.

Since then, countless people have reached out to me to share their stories – and each of them are under the age of 50. Some desperately needing answers for their concerns and not being taken seriously given their age.”

Now in remission, she is determined to stop this from happening to more young people. She is calling for the screening age to be lowered and created a petition in 2022. Since then, the petition has gained nearly 9,000 signatures – 1,000 signatures off the goal!

“Research is proving time and time again that bowel cancer is affecting more and more young people daily. But not only is it research, it is real life stories being told and yet our screening age only focuses on those 60-74 years of age.”

According to a new study based on 8 types of cancers – more than 42 per cent of the cancers in our country are diagnosed as a result of an emergency admission. This is higher than in other countries, including Australia – highlighting that many diagnoses are made in the late stages of cancer. Screening is one of the most effective ways to find bowel cancer early before it spreads.

Tragically, Jade Blackman’s story echoes the heartbreaking reality and highlights the urgency for change – diagnosed with bowel cancer at 44, she passed away just two months later, only eight days after her wedding. Had the screening age been lower, Jade’s cancer might have been detected earlier.

“Enough is enough. Change needs to happen, and it needs to happen now.”

Support our dedicated ambassador, Rachael, and take 30 seconds out of your day to sign the petition HERE.