Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa (BBCA) is an organisation dedicated to raising the awareness of bowel cancer. A few years ago I was asked to be an ambassador for them to help them raise the profile of bowel cancer in NZ as it is one of our biggest killers. Breast and prostate are the fashionable cancers that celebrities get (although no cancer is actually fashionable) and people like to wear ribbons or grow moustaches to raise awareness for. Bowel cancer is a bigger killer than both of them combined and slides under the radar forgotten.
Leading up to Christmas this year, BBCA has launched the ‘I give a crap’ campaign that they hope will get spread via social media and the likes to help raise awareness of bowel cancer. The idea is to help people realise that if you actually catch it early by knowing what symptoms to look for, you can beat this disease. As part of this campaign, BBCA has put two videos together, which you can see here. See if you can spot me in one of them. 🙂
Help raise awareness of this cancer in NZ which only has a 55% survival rate (at 5 years) when compared to 75% in the OECD. Its easy to talk about bowel habits if you give a crap.
I give a crap this Christmas*….
*I probably recorded that line about 20 times till I had it nailed… ahh showbiz..
Earlier this week, on the 2nd of January, Kristian Anderson lost his battle with bowel cancer.
He and I first made contact a couple of years back shortly after his diagnosis. We are of a similar age, and have a similar life philosophy, and battle the same sinister illness. He was slightly more advanced than I was at his diagnosis. Whilst we both have our struggles with our illnesses, perhaps his was made a little more poignant in that he has two young children, all the more motivation to beat cancer, and survive.
I too relate to this drive for survival. The motivation to live is not for my own benefit, but for that of my wife and my family and friends. If I was to have children, I can only just imagine how much harder that would be.
Kristian shot to fame shortly after his diagnosis when he produced a video for his wife for her birthday. He managed to get Hugh Jackman and PM John Key in on it, and it went viral online.
After his rise into the media consciousness, Oprah interviewed him on her show when she toured Australia last year.
Throughout Kristian’s Journey, he and I have shared the highs and lows of bowel cancer. The tough times, and the joyous times. It is with a bittersweet note that he has passed away. Bitter, because it should never have happened, because he leaves behind a wife and two children, and because his life was stolen from him. Sweet, because he gets to be with his Lord, and the at times very difficult journey, has finally come to an end, the suffering has stopped.
Kristian, you were a friend whom I met through circumstance and suffering. You were a man of faith who has got to meet his maker. Our heart goes to your family, Rachel and your children will be in our prayers for many years to come.
May you rest in peace, with the Creator of the universe whom you adored so much.