Concerned after the appearance of blood in his stool, our community ambassador Wayne Fa’asega headed off to the doctors.
His GP wasn’t dismissive about the possibility of bowel cancer but felt that the then 43-year-old was too young. Nonetheless, he put Wayne into the public health system where he had a colonoscopy.
He went through the usual thoughts after being told he had bowel cancer – “what’s happening here, why me, what am I in for” – but quickly shifted to a different outlook. “I was like, “oh well, we’ll deal with this in due course”,” he says.
Wayne and his wife Stephanie told their three sons of the diagnosis, preferring immediacy to waiting until “Dad was feeling bad and can’t do anything.”
At this point, Wayne made contact with Bowel Cancer New Zealand and was encouraged to join their online support group. It didn’t take him long to reap the benefits of this forum.
“Everyone is there to support each other,” he enthuses. “It’s directly aimed at people with bowel cancer and all the various stages, be it stage one, two, three, stage four if it’s spread around.”
Wayne’s willingness to give back and help others is what led to his role as a Bowel Cancer NZ community ambassador.