Our BNI group has been delighted to support GUTS, the bowel cancer charity for the last five years and this week our friend and hugely popular BNI member Nerissa Deeks told us all a little bit more about their life saving work.
Ahead of every ten-minute presentation we learn a little about the member concerned and this week Nerissa mentioned her three-legged cat, four-legged dog and her sons (both have two legs). We also learned that Nerissa’s grandad converted river boats and barges for use during the evacuation of D-Day!
Nerissa began by telling us that much of the early work undertaken by GUTS was due to a wonderfully generous donation by none other than George Michael, he sponsored two runners in the very first London Marathon to the tune of £1,000 per mile and the money he donated enabled helped establish the very first screening programme in the UK.
Since then, GUTS has offered advice and screening to people at a high risk of developing bowel cancer. They have also funded equipment and facilities to help improve the care and treatment of bowel cancer patients at the RSCH as well as funding research into new ways of detecting bowel cancer and into better ways of treating the disease.
54% of bowel cancers are directly linked to lifestyle choices, with red meat, smoking and lack of exercise all contributing to an increased risk. The great news is that the number of deaths from bowel cancer are slowly declining, due in no small part to early diagnosis through screening.
A main part of Nerissa’s message was to highlight the need to ‘accept the invitation to be screened’ because with early diagnosis there is a 5 year survival rate of 92%, a figure dropping dramatically to 12% for those diagnosed at a later stage.
A presentation about an extremely sensitive and potentially upsetting subject was lifted to a different level by Nerissa’s obvious passion for the cause, facts were presented and however stark they appeared, they were delivered with warmth and a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.
We are privileged to have Nerissa as an active member of our group, GUTS saves lives…a fact underlined by the following, stark statement.
‘’When you get invited to be screened, make sure that you attend. Every month we meet patients that could have been helped more effectively if they had been diagnosed earlier…It’s an uncomfortable subject, but please don’t die of embarrassment’’
GUTS Organise fundraising events throughout the year, here are a few highlights…
Bolt Round the Holt: Saturday March 24
Hoopwick Farm Clay Pigeon Shoot: Saturday June 2
Jazz in the Park: Sunday June 24
GUTS classic and vintage car motor tour: 2018 date TBC (probably in September)
RideLondon 100: Sunday July 29
Also for cake bakers – Albury Park open garden
For more information about GUTS please visit their website www.gutsfbc.co.uk