A woman has highlighted the importance of using the simple bowel cancer testing kit sent out through the post after it discovered her mother had the complaint.
Sue Hazell’s test result led to a scan and a colonoscopy where the tumour, which was the size of her little finger nail, was discovered.
Now her daughter Donna has called on people not to ignore using the stool testing kit and has gone on to raise money for a hospital charity for the care and attention given to her 63-year-old mother.
Along with her partner Peter Curson they have collected £761.50 for the My WiSH Charity, which supports the work of the West Suffolk Hospital, with the money directed towards the Macmillan Unit.
Sue who lives in Bury St Edmunds, went on to receive chemotherapy but it made her really ill resulting in her being a patient in the unit for five weeks at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Donna, who also lives in the town, said: “Mum suffered all possible side effects and was in a really bad way. She ended up spending five weeks on the Macmillan Ward and was very lucky to be able to come home again. There is still a journey ahead as she gets back to full health again but things are looking much more positive now.
“It’s been a difficult time for us all and, as a thank you to everyone that looked after mum while she was in, Pete and I put ourselves to the challenge of walking, cycling and running 500 miles.”
They started in August and set themselves five weeks to complete the fundraising event up to her parent’s wedding anniversary and the length of time Sue spent in hospital.
The distance was chosen as it’s 500 miles from Bury St Edmunds to Weymouth, the beloved trip to the Dorset resort Sue and her husband John missed this year, and they carried it out on a combination of a cross trainer, an exercise bike and walking. They reached 500 miles before the five-week deadline and carried on to complete 800 miles.
Donna, who is a teaching assistant at the Guildhall Feoffment School, said: “It costs nothing to take the test but so many people do not take it. It will catch any issues very early and it’s really important to do it.”
Her mother was admitted to the hospital in May and was discharged at the beginning of June but she was “very poorly” said Donna.
The 36-year-old added: “She is so much better than she was and she is being monitored by the hospital.
“The care and attention she received was incredible as I wasn’t able to see her during that time she was in the hospital. Dad was the only one allowed to see her and they kept a check on him as well to make sure he was okay .”
Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for the My WiSH Charity, thanked Donna and Pete for their fundraising and added: “Not only have they raised money which will benefit others needing to use the cancer services at West Suffolk Hospital, Donna and Sue are highlighting how this simple yet vital test can save lives. The test arrives on your doorstep when you are 60 and we urge people to complete and return it as, as this story shows, it really does saves lives”.