Councillor nominated for award due to his work raising awareness of bowel cancer
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
An Independent councillor has been nominated for an award for his work raising awareness of bowel cancer.
Cllr Kevin Etheridge, who represents Blackwood, is up for the Achievement Award for Public Awareness and Engagement, at the Moondance Cancer Awards 2022.
In 2019, Cllr Etheridge was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 60. Since then, he has endeavoured to raise awareness of the disease. He was nominated by Bowel Cancer UK for the award.
Cllr Etheridge was diagnosed early and the tumour, which was the size of a tennis ball, was removed from his bowel through surgery.
He said he initially ignored the screening test kit that he was sent and did not appreciate the importance of it at the time. He then went to his GP after feeling unwell and was later diagnosed by a cancer specialist.
Only 55% of people in Wales take up the offer of these tests, which are offered by the NHS and provided by Bowel Screening Wales.
Following his experience, Cllr Etheridge is now a strong advocate for screening tests.
He said: “It is essential to take the screening test to catch this awful disease at an early stage.”
Cllr Etheridge regularly takes part in free sessions run by Bowel Cancer UK to explain the symptoms.
The awards ceremony will be held at Depot in Cardiff on June 16 at 6pm, with BBC Wales presenter Jason Mohammed hosting the event.
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