The Never Too Young campaign is running this August, in memory of the four brave, young people who appeared in Bowel
Cancer New Zealand’s 2018 campaign of the same name and have sadly passed away since then. They wanted to continue to
raise awareness, so that other young New Zealanders have a chance to beat bowel cancer.
The Never Too Young campaign has been organised by the charity’s Community Ambassador, Chelsea Halliwell. Chelsea, a
bowel cancer survivor, came up with the idea after she noticed an increasing number of young people joining Bowel Cancer
New Zealand’s patient support group.
Bowel Cancer New Zealand (NZ) general manager Rebekah Heal says, “We hope the Never Too Young campaign continues to
drive home how important it is for everyone, of any age to know the symptoms of bowel cancer. These include bleeding
from the bottom; a change of bowel habit; any lumps in the stomach; fatigue or tiredness; anemia and unexplained weight
“Our charity has been calling for people to not sit on their symptoms for years. However, with the rising incidence of
bowel cancer in young people and the loss of these amazing campaign ambassadors, it’s more important than ever people
understand bowel cancer can strike at any age. That you’re never too young.”
Every year, more than 350 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer. The aim of the Never Too Young campaign is to
reduce this statistic of those dying needlessly, through awareness.
Bowel Cancer NZ Community Ambassador Chelsea Halliwell says, “If you have symptoms, taking action quickly is so
important – it’s because of this that I’m here today. I’m so fortunate I didn’t delay in going to my GP - within a week,
I had a stage three bowel cancer diagnosis, and my surgeon told me another six months would have made a real difference
to my chances of survival.
“Unfortunately, the story was very different for Anaru, Britt, Solon and Fiona, who joined us in the 2018 campaign. For
all of them, diagnosis came too late for life-saving treatment, which makes this message all the more important,” she
Look out for the Never Too Young campaign on bus backs, billboards, digital posters in malls and on bus shelters, in
print media, on social media and with our new television advert. Bowel Cancer NZ is a national charity raising awareness
of bowel cancer, supporting patients and education in the community. We would like to thank our many supporters who have
made this campaign possible.
Bowel Cancer NZ encourages open discussion about bowel cancer with medical professionals and avoiding ‘sitting on your
symptoms’. Symptoms include:Change of bowel motions over several weeks without returning to normal;
Those who have a family history of bowel cancer or want to do regular checks, can talk to their GP or buy a commercially
available bowel screening kit available at Life or Unichem pharmacies. However, if you have symptoms, we advise seeing
your GP immediately.
More information on bowel cancer and Bowel Cancer NZ can be found at www.bowelcancernz.org.nz