Rangers Women’s midfielder Sam Kerr helped the Rangers Charity Foundation announce Bowel Cancer UK as their new national charity partner.
The Foundation has pledged to raise £25,000 for Bowel Cancer UK over the course of the season, as well as spreading important messages about bowel cancer signs, symptoms and screening to football fans and the wider public.
The Foundation and Bowel Cancer UK are encouraging fans who have been affected by bowel cancer, either personally or via a family member, to come forward and share their story to create a special ‘stories’ section on Bowel Cancer UK’s website. Some of those who share their experiences will also be asked to take part in the Rangers Charity Foundation’s bowel cancer campaign.
Sam Kerr commented: “Sharing stories saves lives. When people talk about their experiences it helps others learn what to look for, and what to do, and breaks down the taboos surrounding difficult subjects.
“That’s why I am delighted to help the Foundation launch its partnership with Bowel Cancer UK and would urge the Rangers Family to come forward to shine a light on bowel cancer and use their stories to help others.
“If anyone reading this has been affected by bowel cancer, they can share their story with Bowel Cancer UK at www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/rangers and maybe even help the Foundation communicate important messages to other fans, which could save lives.”
Rangers fan and bowel cancer survivor Iain Kerr also attended the launch of the partnership today. Iain was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and has been a Rangers fan since he saw his first game at Ibrox in 1959.
Iain Kerr commented: “I’m so pleased to see Rangers, my club, and Bowel Cancer UK, a charity close to my heart, coming together to tackle such an important issue.
“I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 after completing a bowel cancer screening test. A few months later I had surgery to remove the tumour and a colostomy, and I’ve been cancer free since then.
“Being told that I have cancer left me speechless. I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through what I did and that’s why I’m sharing my story.
“I hope other fans and supporters of the club will come forward with their stories too and together we can raise awareness of what to look out for and encourage people to seek help from their GP.”
The money the Foundation has pledged to raise for the partnership will help Bowel Cancer UK to fund a Senior Services Officer in Scotland to deliver the following vital services in Scotland:
- providing information and support to people with bowel cancer
- running campaigns to raise awareness of symptoms
- supporting in-person support groups
- helping GPs and other health professionals to diagnose and treat people with bowel cancer earlier
- researching the reasons people in Scotland find it hard to access health services and try to help overcome those
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer, with someone dying from the disease every 30 minutes in the UK – that’s three families losing a loved one in the time it takes to play a football match. But it doesn’t have to be this way – when it’s diagnosed early, bowel cancer is treatable and curable. That’s why we’re delighted to be working together with the Rangers Charity Foundation to make sure people can spot the symptoms and visit their GP if something is wrong.
“Rangers has an amazing family of players, fans and staff and we’re thrilled to see them get behind the campaign. We know that when people share their experiences of bowel cancer it helps others learn what to look for and feel more confident to visit their GP. We’d like to thank everyone who comes forward with a story, which helps us all talk more openly about this deadly disease. We can’t wait to stand with The Gers for this important season – we are Ready!”
Foundation Director Connal Cochrane added: “We are delighted to partner with Bowel Cancer UK this season and help get vital messages on signs and symptoms out to fans and the wider public.
“The Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and it’s heartening to look back over all the different partners we have worked with over the last two decades, many of them relating to health, and see the difference our support has made to these causes.
“Of course, we’re always looking forward too, and are committed to making a real difference for people across the country through our season-long partnership with Bowel Cancer UK.”