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  • Emma’s Undies Run in memory of her mum

    28 November 2019

    This January, 26 year old Emma Sjoberg will be taking part in Cancer Council’s Undies Run at the Strikers for a very special reason—to honour the memory of her mum Dianne who passed away from bowel cancer last year.

    Emma’s mum Dianne was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. Emma explains that her mum wasn’t feeling right or having regular bowel movements and went to the doctor for further tests. 

    “After her first diagnosis in 2013, she went into remission, and we thought that the worst was behind us. However in 2015 the cancer came back. She underwent chemotherapy but the cancer had already spread too far,” she said. 

    Emma took time off from work to become her mum’s full time carer. 

    “I had an amazing support network who helped me prepare mums meals, wash and bathe her, clean the house and assisted with taking her to appointments. We were incredibly lucky to have people by our side every step of the way which made a huge difference,” she said. 

    Dianne lost her life last year, and Emma said those final days were the hardest. 

    “Watching mum deteriorate and get weaker and weaker was emotionally, mentally and physically hard, but it was also a privilege to be there when she needed me most. It made the hard days all worth it.” 

    After her mum passed away, Emma was determined to do something to give back and support others. 

    “I was incredibly lucky to have the support that I did, but I know that not everyone is that lucky. Support is so important—you never know if or when you might need it. The fact that the money raised through the Undies Run goes towards support programs for others going through bowel cancer is a true motivator for me,” she said. 

    Emma registered for her first Undies Run last year and is looking forward to taking part again in 2020 to honour her mum’s memory. 

    “Mum was kind, caring and compassionate and loved a good laugh, so I think that she would have really enjoyed this event—it’s such a wonderful day filled with positivity. It’s so empowering being around people who are as passionate about the cause as I am, raising funds to support those when they need it most,” she said. 

    “I think that mum would have got a real kick out of seeing me run around in my undies! I’ll be doing it for her, and I know she’ll be looking down on me with a smile.” 

    This January, Emma will join 250 dedicated fundraisers at Cancer Council’s Undies Run, held just minutes before the opening delivery of the Adelaide Strikers V Melbourne Renegades BBL match on Sunday 12 January. 

    Cancer Council Chief Executive Lincoln Size thanked the Strikers for hosting the event in 2020 and encouraged South Australians to bare it all and get behind the annual event.  

    “Cancer Council SA is proud to be the official charity partner of the Adelaide Strikers and look forward to hosting the Undies Run at Adelaide Oval again in 2020.”  

    “Bowel cancer claims over 400 South Australian lives every year, however 90 per cent of cases are treatable if caught early. That’s why this event is so important¬¬—it helps us raise awareness and remove some of the stigma around bowel cancer screening.” 

    “By taking part in the event, or supporting someone who is, you are helping us to start a powerful conversation about bowel cancer and promote the life-saving National Bowel Cancer Screening Program—ensuring more people get the message that this 10-minute test could save their life.”

    Registrations for the 2020 Cancer Council’s Undies Run at the Strikers are now open, with only 250 spots available. 

    To register and help us knock bowel cancer for six, visit www.undiesrun.com.au

    Notes to Editor:  

    • Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in South Australia, claiming more than 400 lives every year. 
    • Up to 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be treated effectively if found early. 
    • All Australians aged 50 or over should have a bowel cancer screening test every two years. All eligible Australians aged 50–74 will receive a free kit every two years from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). 
    • On current participation rates (40 per cent, the NBCSP is projected to prevent more than 92,200 cases of cancer and 59,000 deaths from 2015 to 2040. If participation increased to just 50 per cent, an additional 24,300 cases and 16,800 deaths could be prevented.
    • If you are concerned about your bowel health, have a family history of bowel cancer, or are experiencing symptoms, talk to your GP—no matter your age or when you last had your test.
    • The at-home test kit can be performed in 10 minutes by taking a sample from two bowel motions. It is quick, painless and non-invasive and it could save your life.
    • Call the Test Kit Helpline on 1800 930 998 if you are unsure how to do the test and they will talk you through it step by step.

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