Arlesey bowel cancer sufferer wins national awards for charity work

Left to right lord mayor of London Fiona Woolf, Gail Allen, and Sir Christopher Pitchers Chairman of

Left to right lord mayor of London Fiona Woolf, Gail Allen, and Sir Christopher Pitchers Chairman of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer credit: Beating Bowel Cancer - Credit: Archant

A bowel cancer sufferer has won a national award for her charity work.

Gail Allen, who lives in Arlesey, has received an Achievement Award from charity Beating Bowel Cancer for raising awareness about the disease.

The 54-year-old was diagnosed with cancer last year and has since become a dedicated member of the charity, devoting a lot of time to helping fellow sufferers and sharing her story.

Her activities include taking part in a fundraising dragon boat race, sharing her experience of the disease through the media, attending a reception at the House of Commons in Westminster and supporting other patients through social media.

Mrs Allen recieved her award from Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, during an awards ceremony at the capital’s Royal College of Surgeons.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “I’m thrilled to have received this award from Beating Bowel Cancer. It’s vital that more people are aware of the symptoms and I want to do all I can to spread the word.”

Mrs Allen first noticed something was wrong at the beginning of 2012 when she was experiencing lower abdominal pains. Later that year she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer which had spread to her liver and lungs.

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Despite her diagnosis, she said: “I try and keep as active as possible and enjoy helping to support Beating Bowel Cancer with their work.

“I really want to shout from the rooftops to get everyone talking about the disease.”

Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said: ‘Gail’s contribution to the charity is incredible and we wanted to say thank you to her for all her fantastic work. Gail’s story is one of determination and we are so grateful for her support.”

Almost 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK, although more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully if caught in the early stages.

Beating Bowel Cancer advises people to go to their GP if they have any of the following symptoms for three weeks or more: a change in bowel habit, bleeding from the bottom or blood in your bowel motions, pain or a lump in your abdomen, unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness or unexplained weight loss.

For more information about the charity visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org