The Sydney Swans are throwing their weight behind national bowel cancer charity, Jodi Lee Foundation, urging Australians to take the time to take a simple, free, life-saving bowel cancer screening test when it arrives in the mail.
The ‘Degrees of Separation’ campaign urges Australians aged 50-74 to take the free bowel cancer screening test when it arrives from the Australian Government.
To further encourage an uptake of the screening program, attendees at the Swans vs Hawks game on Friday night will also have the opportunity to obtain a screening kit thanks to additional support by the Australian Government. Attendees aged 50-74 can order a free National Bowel Cancer Screening Kit to be sent to their home (by scanning a QR code on Driver Avenue). Those under 50 can purchase a ColoVantage screening kit for the cost of $42.00, by scanning a QR code on Driver Avenue.
The 'Degrees of Separation' campaign TVC includes Sydney Swans coach John Longmire, CEO Tom Harley and players Isaac Heeney, Ollie Florent and Will Hayward and urges Australians aged 50-74 to take the free bowel cancer screening test when it arrives from the Australian Government. You can watch this video below.
Often, it’s only one or two degrees of separation between us and someone we know or love who has been impacted by bowel cancer. For the Sydney Swans, this impact runs deep, with many familiar faces having lost someone to the disease or been impacted by it.
For Swans Coach John Longmire, it was his mum, for Isaac Heeney it was his grandfather, for Will Hayward it was his neighbour and for Oliver Florent it was his father.
John Longmire’s mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 58. She fought hard but sadly passed away at age 63 in 2012.
John urges all families to have a conversation about bowel screening, to break down the myths around screening and normalise doing the test.
“When the kit from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program arrives in the mail when you turn 50, make sure you do it, and do it every two years after that.” said Longmire.
Founder and Chair of the Jodi Lee Foundation, Nick Lee, said bowel cancer is more common than people realise, with it estimated that more than 15,000 Australians will be diagnosed this year alone – equivalent to over a third of the SCG when it’s at capacity.
“The Degrees of Separation campaign will help build greater awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of early detection using a simple at-home bowel screening test,” Lee said.
Lee explains, “Many people don’t realise that bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Australia after lung cancer. Early detection is key to turning these figures around. We need to convince more Australians to take the test when they receive it in the mail. It may just save their life.”
“We are grateful to the Sydney Swans for their support in helping us amplify the important message that early detection through this free test supplied by the Government might save your life”, said Lee.
Bowel Cancer Statistics
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Australia, behind lung cancer, but it doesn’t have to be. If caught early, around 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated or even prevented. Screening is the most effective tool for early detection and medical guidelines recommend screening from the age of 50 and every following two years up to the age of 74.
The Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce deaths from bowel cancer by detecting traces of blood in bowel movements – one of the early signs of the disease. Australians from 50 to 74 years of age are sent a simple test to take at home.
About the Jodi Lee Foundation:
Jodi Lee lost her battle with bowel cancer in 2010 at the age of 41, leaving behind her husband and two young children (including her daughter Bella, a Sydney Swans supporter who also features in the awareness campaign).
Before her diagnosis, Jodi was fit and healthy. She had no family history and no symptoms. The saddest part of all, is that Jodi’s story could have had a different outcome if her cancer had been detected early. With that simple fact as the driving force, the Jodi Lee Foundation was established in 2010.
The Jodi Lee Foundation runs a number of national initiatives that encourage Australians to take active steps to prevent bowel cancer - screen regularly from age 50, know their family history, act quickly on symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Jodi Lee Foundation is celebrating its tenth year of saving lives through its awareness programs.
For more information about The Jodi Lee Foundation, visit: www.jodileefoundation.org.au
About the screening test
Further information on the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program can be found here.
If you are aged 50-74 and yet to receive your free test, or want to order a replacement, please call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program on 1800 118 868.
And if you are under 50 or over 75 and feel you would like to take a test, kits can also be purchased online for $42.00 via the Jodi Lee Foundation website: https://jodileefoundation.org.au/bowel-screening