Milton Keynes cancer survivor urges everyone to sign up to the Veg Pledge

Kate and Neil Spicer
Kate and Neil Spicer

Bowel cancer survivor Kate Spicer is encouraging Milton Keynes residents to take the Veg Pledge this summer - to go meat and fish free for seven days and donate the money saved to the charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

To make it even easier, the charity has developed an online calculator which you can use to work out how much money you will save, based on your average weekly meat consumption and where you shop.

“This is a great way to look at your diet and spending habits and raise funds to help those affected by bowel cancer at the same time,” said Kate “It’s only for a week and you could learn a lot about what you eat and spend your money on, as well as support a great cause. It’s a real win-win situation.”

In May 2012, at the age of just 32, the mother-of-two from Great Horwood was diagnosed with bowel cancer, which had spread to her liver and lung. Throughout 2012 and early 2013, she underwent a gruelling 6 months of chemotherapy on top of 3 major surgeries, including removing large segments of bowel and also 70% of her liver.

Thankfully, she there has been no sign of cancer since.

Kate’s husband Neil said: “During that awful year, Kate still managed to still be an amazing mother to Max, then three, and Will, then two and never allowed her illness to affect them.

“Bowel cancer is a dreadful disease that affects so many people in this country. Beating Bowel Cancer does so much to support patients and their families and friends so we’d encourage anyone to take the Veg Pledge and donate what they save to the charity to enable them to continue their vital work.”

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. Yet if diagnosed early, more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully.

Learning to live without meat occasionally could also be good for your health, as there is strong evidence to suggest eating too much red and processed meat is one factor that can increase the risk of developing the disease.

“Around 110 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every day, that’s someone every 15 minutes,” said Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer.

“There are a number of factors known to increase your chances of being diagnosed with the disease. Some you can’t change - such as your age and family history. However you can reduce your risk by cutting down on red meat and processed food, exercising, quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake.

“The charity is here to help beat bowel cancer but we rely totally on donations, so we’re asking people to make one simple lifestyle change for seven days to help us continue our work and support all those affected by the disease.”

Beating Bowel Cancer is the support and campaigning charity for everyone affected by bowel cancer, providing vital practical and emotional help – on the phone, digitally and face to face. The charity also runs the UK’s only nurse-led specialist helpline for bowel cancer which patients call a ‘lifeline’.

For more information or to sign up for the Veg Pledge visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org.