Bombers put bowel cancer in the spotlight

Irrewarra-Beeac Football Netball Club’s desire to put bowel cancer in the spotlight tomorrow has given one of the Bombers’ own a platform to share her story in a bid to help others.

Liz Gore, pictured centre alongside Irrewarra-Beeac’s Amy and Lilly Angus and husband Tim, says she has received a “tsunami of support” after learning she had bowel cancer last year. Irrewarra-Beeac will raise awareness for bowel cancer during tomorrow’s CDFNL clash with the Western Eagles.

Liz Gore learnt in December that she had bowel cancer, a disease which currently claims the lives of 103 Australians every week.

But the mother of three said she was “one of the lucky ones” after regular health checks potentially saved her life.

Liz is three quarters of the way through chemotherapy treatment following successful surgery to remove a tumour in January.

The 53-year-old said she was always cautious of bowel cancer, with her mum, Betty Mahony, also going through the illness at age 47 before surviving to live for another 40 years.

“Mum was an inspiration and even though she passed away last year, I know she’s close by me,” Liz said.

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, but is one of the most treatable if found early – a reason why Liz has encouraged regular checks.

“I’ve got a very positive prognosis after successful surgery and follow-up chemotherapy,” Liz said.

“But what I want to promote is particularly the bowel cancer test kits, because early detection is the key,” she said.

“I’m a fit and healthy person, so it was quite a shock for people that know me, but it can happen to anyone.

“I’m doing very well and on track to make a full recovery, but that is very much linked to the fact we got it early.

“We’ve all got an opportunity to look after ourselves; it’s only a small inconvenience to do the test or go and see your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms”

The month of June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Liz’s personal battle has inspired Irrewarra-Beeac to dedicate tomorrow’s clash with the Western Eagles to the cause.

The Bombers’ footballers will swap their red-and-black socks for green tomorrow, while netballers will also wear green socks to honour Liz and the bowel cancer awareness movement.

Liz said support from the Irrewarra-Beeac club and Colac district community had been overwhelming.

The Gore family has been involved at the Bombers for nearly 20 years, with Liz and her husband Tim’s children, Jarrod, Brad and Lisa, starting out their football and netball journeys at the club.

Brad was part of the club’s dominant era in senior football a decade ago, while the Gores have remained involved at the Bombers after their offspring’s playing days, with Tim a current committee member.

“We’ve been a part of Irrewarra-Beeac since shortly after we moved to the district and even though our children don’t play there anymore we will always be Bombers supporters” Liz said.

“I was very touched when the club said they would promote bowel cancer.

“We live in the most generous community. I’ve had a tsunami of support, just absolutely incredible.

“It’s difficult to express how much our family appreciates the care and concern shown to us.

“Also between Otway Medical Clinic, Frank Minchinton Centre, Epworth Geelong and Anam Cara, I have a team of the very best medical professionals”

Irrewarra-Beeac club official Amy Angus said her husband and Bombers senior co-coach Jaden suggested the club should raise awareness for bowel cancer in support of Liz.

Club officials will also sell Apple Pin Ribbons and have a raffle in a bid to raise money for Bowel Cancer Australia.

“Last year we supported MND and we were going to do that again,” Amy said.

“The family has been heavily involved in the club and Liz was always around the club so we decided to dedicate this year to bowel cancer.”

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