Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley chief executive Gary Gaffney has emerged from a brush with bowel cancer feeling compelled to encourage more people to take a test for the life threatening disease.
Mr Gaffney was diagnosed with the cancer earlier this year after he took a test as part of the Federal Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, which posts free test kits to people on their 50th, 55th and 60th birthdays.
Following Mr Gaffney’s early diagnosis, doctors were able to remove the cancer during an operation in Darwin.
Speaking out in support of R U OK Day today, which encourages people to ask their friends and family how they are, Mr Gaffney urged the community to not only ask the question of others but of themselves.
He urged people to take medical tests such as those for bowel cancer to ensure they were in good health.
“Don’t be afraid of doing the test,” he said. “R U OK Day is a good time for people to say ‘I’m going to make that booking with a doctor to get that blood test to see how my cholesterol is’ or maybe ‘this is a time to look at a fitness program’.”
Mr Gaffney also expressed his support for Kununurra man Neville Pinney Jnr, who was recently diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“It really is a hard time for everyone involved and I would encourage everyone to attend Neville’s up and coming fundraiser,” Mr Gaffney said.
The fundraising auction will be held at Kununurra Ord River Sports Club from 5.30pm on Saturday.
Entry is $25 per person with all proceeds going towards Mr Pinney’s treatment in Perth.
For more information about Bowel Cancer visit www.bowelcanceraustralia.org, or find out more about R U OK Day at www.ruokday.com.au