UK Example - Dave Miners

In the UK, one patient, Dave Miners, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, did as much as anyone to help transform the media's interest in colorectal cancer. Despite being relatively young, in his early 50's, and fit and healthy - he played golf and skied regularly and had recently run a marathon - he was diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease in 2003.

Once he had recovered from the shock of finding out that he had colorectal cancer, he became determined to find out more about it and contacted the nurse-run Infoline at the patient organisation Bowel Cancer UK (previously Colon Cancer Concern) establishing a relationship with the organisation that continued until his death.

He also wrote to the BBC, specifically to their "Breakfast" TV programme, complaining that they never featured items about colorectal cancer, despite it being the second most common cause of cancer in the UK. Dave's letter stung the BBC into action and they filmed a very moving feature about him, in which he talked eloquently about his experiences of the disease and raised awareness of the issues around it, in particular the need for a UK colorectal cancer screening programme.

Over the next two years, until his death from the disease in Spring 2005, Dave remained a very active campaigner for the disease, appearing in the media, including on BBC TV "Breakfast" several times, and in public at various awareness raising events organised by Bowel Cancer UK, such as at the House of Lords.

Dave was instrumental in persuading the UK Government, in October 2004, to announce a screening programme for colorectal cancer and in empowering other patients to become more vocal about issues around it, in particular about their battles to gain access to treatments. Dave himself benefited from one of the newer therapies being used to treat the disease which, gave him an extra five months of life after other drugs had ceased to be effective.

Dave was an inspiration to a lot of people and is sadly missed. Since Dave's death, however, his family are continuing to raise awareness of colorectal cancer issues, keeping Dave's memory alive and ensuring that his invaluable efforts were not in vain. And, many other patients, inspired by people like Dave are becoming more vocal in the media about their issues.

Active campaigner for the
disease (deceased 2005)

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