Peterborough bowel cancer survivor whose dad died from the disease fronts up new national fundraising challenge

A bowel cancer survivor from Peterborough is the face of a new national fundraising challenge.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 2:54 pm
Neil Barket (right). Copyright: Brendan Foster Photography

Neil Barker (56) is fronting up Bowel Cancer UK’s Step up for 30 challenge which kicks off in June.

Neil was diagnosed with stage 2 bowel cancer in 2003 and had surgery to have his colon, rectum and anus removed, which has left him with a permanent stoma. He also had six months of chemotherapy and is now in remission. In 2010, Neil’s father also developed the disease and died shortly after.

Neil said: ‘‘Step up for 30 is a fantastic way to both lower your risk of developing bowel cancer and fundraise to help create a future where nobody dies of the disease.

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Neil Barket (right). Copyright: Brendan Foster Photography

“Being active has really helped me get fitter and stronger after treatment, as well as help maintain my mental health. I started out slowly at first, but now do regular park runs, hiking and climbing. Step up for 30 is a great chance to try out new things, find out what works for you and turn exercise into something that you love to do.”

Research shows that 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week can help decrease the chance of developing bowel cancer.

Step up for 30 encourages people to take up regular exercise and be more active to help reduce their risk of bowel cancer, by getting sponsored to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days in June.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with almost 42,000 people diagnosed. More than 16,000 people die each year of the disease making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Luke Squires, director of fundraising at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Exercise doesn’t just have to be about working out in a gym. You could walk, swim, dance, run, cycle, do yoga – the choice is yours.

“It’s really easy to get involved, there’s lots of creative ways you can get sponsored and get active during the month - doing squats while the kettle boils, taking the stairs rather than the lift, going for a walk during your lunch break, getting off the bus a stop early or even hula-hooping during the TV adverts!

“Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but with your help we can change that.”

To sign up for Step up for 30 visit: