June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowel cancer claims the lives of 77 Australians every month. It does not just hit elderly people. It’s also young people – like the sister of Channel 9 sports journalist Erin Molan.
As a journalist I have witnessed first hand some of the most horrific events human beings can be subjected to. The devastation caused by natural disasters; accidents with tragic consequences that no one could have foreseen; diagnoses of incurable diseases where there is no hope, not even a glimmer – where the diagnosis is a death sentence…
I’ve also covered many stories where there is hope – where the human spirit manages to shine above unimaginable terror – where miracles are possible, and where bad news doesn’t have to be the end, but rather the start of a challenging journey.
I never thought I’d be doing this kind of story with my big sister, but a few weeks ago I did, on national television, and I did that most unprofessional of journalistic things. I cried. I’ve never done that before on-air (except when they made me bungee jump, but they were tears of fear, which are totally different!)
I’ve never done an interview like the one I did for the Footy Show on Channel 9. I sat down with my big sis – Sarah Sutton, a 33 year old mother and wife, high school teacher, wittiest person my other sister, brother and I know, loveliest person we know, strongest person we know…
At 28 years old Sarah was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer – 4,000 lose their lives annually… 15,000 people are told every year they have the disease, but do you know the best thing about bowel cancer? It is not a death sentence – in fact far from it. Ninety per cent of cases can be successfully treated IF it’s detected early enough.