32-year-old tradie with bowel cancer wows world with video
BEN Dwyer's fight for life has touched the hearts of a nation and the mild-mannered Brisbane tradie says he is embarrassed and deeply grateful for the tsunami of support he has received.
The Courier-Mail highlighted how Ben at the age of 32 was fit and well and working 12 hour days as a mechanical engineer on big rigs. He felt bulletproof.
At Christmas he had a bout of gastro and went to the doctor. That was the day his life was detoured on a dark path. He was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer that spread to his liver and lymph nodes.
"Since my story was told I have had so many amazing messages of support. I think it hit a soft spot with a lot of other tradies. I am so glad to be warning people that anyone can be impacted by cancer and if they have any niggling symptoms get them checked out," Ben said.
The shock of a young, fit, man with no symptoms being suddenly diagnosed with advanced cancer is a wake up call to many.
"I was thrown into a medical whirlwind where within days I had half a metre of bowel removed along with an 8cm tumour. The next step is six months of chemotherapy every 12 days," Ben said.
The self-employed tradie says he was aware of colonoscopies but thought he was too young to be at risk. He knows of no family history of bowel cancer. While bowel cancer is most prevalent later in life, in Queensland an average of 32 men aged 30-39 are diagnosed each year.
Ben has a strong support network with his girlfriend Chantelle Jukic, his mum, sister Terri and mates fighting with him every step of the way. His burly frame has lost almost 20kg in a month but he vows to give everything he's got to stay alive.
As Ben is self-employed and unable to work anyone who wishes to help him out should go to gofundme.com/4xhcvtk