Family call on government to lower age of bowel cancer screenings after mum's death

Hitchin Cheryl Kellett bowel cancer screening petition

Cheryl Kellett sadly passed away after being diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer - Credit: Cheryl Kellett

A petition set up by a local family that aims to lower the age of bowel cancer screenings in the UK has seen more than 20,000 signatories in two weeks.

Just over two months ago, 52-year-old Cheryl Kellett was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive bowel cancer.

At 51, she was in discomfort and visited her GP, who diagnosed her with muscular pain. But a few months after her 52nd birthday, Cheryl was admitted to hospital with a terminal bowel cancer diagnosis, and her family were told she had just months to live.

Cheryl passed away peacefully with her children and husband James Kellett on February 1.

Currently, regular bowel cancer screenings are available from the NHS in England if you are aged 60 and over. But if you live in Scotland, bowel cancer screenings begin at 50.

And in the wake of her passing, Cheryl's children - Georgia, Hannah and Joe - have come together to try and encourage others to sign the petition that could save lives in the future.

Cheryl Kellett bowel cancer petition

Cheryl's family has set up a petition to lower the age of regular bowel cancer screenings that has received more than 20,000 signatures - Credit: Supplied

They said: "Although this petition can not change what’s happened to our mum, by raising awareness and fighting for this, we hope this change can spare the heartbreak and grief for at least one family.

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"A complete rollout of the new more sensitive FIT screening test continues to be delayed, and until this happens, screening at 50 has no chance of happening. So we need to keep the pressure up on Parliament."

The three children have set up a Change.org petition, which has already been supported by more than 20,000 people in the UK in less than three weeks.

And Cheryl's original "Great British Bounce Off" fundraiser has almost topped £10,000. You can still donate here: justgiving.com/fundraising/thegreatbritishbounceoff

It had seen a rise in popularity after Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague shared the news that her friend had sadly passed earlier this month.

On Instagram, the former Hitchin student said: "Thank you for making such an incredible and positive impact on my life Cheryl.

"One amazing woman, you'll be utterly missed. 

"Please can my followers pray for her three beautiful children at this heart-breaking time."

According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 16,600 bowel cancer deaths in the UK every year, or 45 every day. Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the country.

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