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Campaigning for free bowel screening at Relay For Life

Friday 13 April, 2012 by Melissa

As many Cut Your Cancer Risk readers may know - tis' the season - (not just for TV ratings and AFL) but for Cancer Council's Relay For Life.

And as many people take to their local sports fields and reserves to walk in teams and raise cash for cancer research and support, Cut Your Cancer Risk team members have been right in the thick of it to sign up people for our Get Behind Bowel Screening campaign.

Yep, adorned in electric blue shirts (with Cancer Council Victoria emblazoned across the chest) we have been hitting the tracks to talk to people and explain what our campaign is all about.

And as you may have guessed, there's really no better conversation starter (or ender for that matter) than talking about bowel cancer.

It's really a difficult approach - I mean, how do you start a conversation with a stranger about bowel cancer? It's hard enough with the people you know and love!

Some relay participants gave us a grin, some a knowing nod, some an incredulous look when we approached them.

Even the team who were relaying at John Gardiner Reserve in Hawthorn, dressed as pirates gave us a funny, pirate-ey look through their eye-patch free eyes (they were one of my favourite fancy dressed teams by the way).

But, by the time we had finished talking, the committed Cancer Council team had convinced at least some participants to get behind our campaign.

Including the pirates, who, as well as bringing a touch of the ‘sea shanties' to the relay signed up for the campaign.

And the Freemasons team in Seymour who wore jaunty bowties with their "Relay For Life" shirts (and carried a penguin around the Kings Park Recreation Reserve).

After talking with many people over the events, we discovered the best approach is with a smile and a friendly "hello" - even if some people bent over in front of us showing their hindquarters at the mention of bowel cancer screening! But that gave us a reason to explain how Faecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs) work and why people should do them.

We spoke to some amazing people - some who had been through cancer themselves, some who had lost loved ones to cancer and some who had just been diagnosed.

Some truly inspiring people who were giving their time and energy to raise money for cancer research, support and prevention.

Tell us, are you or have you participated in a Relay For Life - and did you spot us spruiking bowel cancer screening?

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