Sunday 21 July 2019

Ireland striker Jon Walters praised for raising awareness after sharing details of cancer screening procedure

Ireland's Jon Walters and (inset) he breaks down talking to BBC Radio 5
Ireland's Jon Walters and (inset) he breaks down talking to BBC Radio 5
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters has been praised after he offered up a detailed account of his cancer screening to his Twitter followers.

Walters gave an emotional interview last year reflecting on how the death of his mother due to bowel cancer when she was just 40 still has a huge impact on his life, as he encouraged his followers to go for regular screenings if they have family members affected by the disease.

"Yesterday I went for a colonoscopy," wrote Walters. "My Mum, Helen passed away aged 40 of bowel cancer and because of her age I need to be checked regularly for any abnormalities of my bowel. To raise awareness of this monstrous disease I’m going to share my experience."

He went on to give a lengthy account of his colonoscopy screening and while he admits he it was not a pleasant experience, he told his story with humour and honesty and ended by encouraging others to follow his lead.

"I've shared this with you for a reason," he concluded. "Colonoscopies aren’t a joke and neither is bowel cancer. It's vile disease that can be prevented with some education and awareness on early signs of the disease. There’s no shame in doing what I’ve done.

"It was 23 years ago that my Mum passed away. With the advances in medicine since then, I would like to envisage that taking my advice could help save your life."

Walters received praise on Twitter for raising awareness of his procedure, with his bravery in coming forward and openly discussing what may be viewed as an embarrassing procedure for some men offering a valuable contribution to the fight against bowel cancer.

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