Just 20 minutes after Natalie Hunter arrived at Sunshine Coast University Hospital on February 15, she received some devastating news.
“The doctors took my hand which was really nice and sat me down after my CT scan and said you’ve got stage four bowel cancer,” Natalie, 43, said.
“Literally life just turned upside down, like someone emptied out the bucket of toys.”
In less than 24 hours, Natalie was rushed into colostomy surgery.
In the lead up to her hospital admission, Natalie was experiencing constipation for five days and by the fifth day she was in utter agony, which prompted her to call triple 0 at 5am.
“Having to wake up and let my 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter know I was going to hospital and that the ambulance was on the way was the scariest time for us all,” she said.
The road ahead is long, but Natalie is nothing but determined to conquer bowel cancer, which claims more lives between age 25-44 than any other cancer.
“The plan is that after round six of chemotherapy, the tumours will have shrunk enough to be able to have surgery to remove what is left of the metastasis and then another six rounds of chemotherapy.”
“I had no idea. I seriously thought bowel cancer only happened to old people. It just shows you’re never too young.
According to Bowel Cancer Australia, bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer behind lung cancer, claiming the lives of 5,354 Australians each year.
“I really want to make it my mission to spread more awareness about bowel cancer. If your doctor says you're just constipated, yet you feel that there is more to it, follow your instincts and have further scans or request a colonoscopy.”
Wishlist are proud to announce that Natalie will be the ambassador of the Wishlist K's 4 Cancer (formerly known as Wishlist Fun Run) which will be held on October 15 at Lake Kawana.
Funds raised through the event will go towards supporting Sunshine Coast families touched by cancer.
“Wishlist is an organisation that is close to my heart. It’s just incredible when you first get to experience walking through an accommodation facility like Wishlist Centre and know how many people benefit from having an affordable place to stay across the road from hospital – especially when undergoing cancer treatment.”
WISHLIST K’S 4 CANCER FAST FACTS:
- Wishlist K’s for Cancer (previously known as Wishlist Fun Run) will be held on Sunday, October 15 at Lake Kawana across from Sunshine Coast Stadium.
- Since 2018, the event has raised more than $122,000 for the charity which funds medical equipment, research, education and services to support patients including hospital accommodation.
- Funds raised from this year’s event will be directed to support patients and families touched by cancer.
- Wishlist is hoping to attract 1000 walkers and runners this year from schools to families and workplaces.
- There are four ways to do your ‘K’s’ on the day - walk, run, roll or stroll with your dog to raise funds to support Sunshine Coast cancer patients & their families.