A Brighouse couple are hoping to highlight the importance of bowel cancer screening while raising vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research when they host a charity craft fair and live music event later this month.
Grandparents Richard and Julia Waddington decided to organise their first charity fundraiser following Richard’s experience with bowel cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease after returning his free bowel cancer testing kit in the post.
Bowel cancer screening is offered to men and women aged 60 to 74. Those invited are asked to collect a small sample of poo and post it to a laboratory so it can be checked for tiny amounts of blood, which can be a sign of bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the region 1. Just 6 in 10 people in Yorkshire currently complete their bowel screening 2. The test helps to find cancer at an early stage, when it’s usually easier to treat and the likelihood of survival is higher. It can also be used to find and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time.
Julia and Richard Waddington are holding a craft fair and live music event to raise funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Since first being invited at the age of 60, Richard had completed and returned his kit. His results had always come back normal, but in December 2017, he was invited for further tests. A full body scan confirmed he not only had bowel cancer, but lung cancer too.
Richard, now 74, said: “I had no symptoms at all so it was a huge shock. It knocked both of us sideways. When you hear the word cancer you immediately think death. The worst thing is not knowing what’s going to happen.”
Richard received chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, before having surgery to remove part of his lung. He is now in remission.
Richard said: “Bowel screening didn’t just save me once – it saved me twice. If I hadn’t done the test, there might not have been anything to say I had cancer until it started to cause problems, and then it could have been too late.
“The screening test is something you can do in private. Nobody else needs to be involved. Early detection can save your life, and if multiple cancers are found, it can save your life many times over.”
The couple’s Autumn Craft Fair and Live Music event will take place at Bailiff Bridge and Community Centre on Saturday, November 16. The craft fair, taking place from 10:30am to 4:30pm, will feature a variety of stalls including handmade cards, ceramics, wood turning and paintings. There will also be a raffle, tombola, refreshments and face painting.
Later in the evening, Halifax band ‘In Echoes’ will perform live, playing hits from throughout the decades, and there will be a raffle and auction.
Halifax band ‘In Echoes’ will perform live, playing hits from throughout the decades.
Julia added: “When something like this happens you re-evaluate your life. You suddenly realised you’re not immortal. We’re so thankful that Richard was able to be diagnosed early and receive such brilliant treatment, and that’s the reason we’re holding this event.
“We want to raise as much as possible for Yorkshire Cancer Research. But we also need to get the message out there that early diagnosis saves lives. We want more people in Yorkshire to survive cancer.”
Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Yorkshire Cancer Research
• Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
• Current statistics show that 594 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week.
• Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire.
• There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials.
• For more information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.