A few weeks ago a very close family member was suspected of having bowel cancer and last week we got the phone call that it was confirmed. Fortunately, the situation is relatively good with doctors organising surgery in 2 weeks’ time and they believe a full recovery is very likely. I’d like to say that Red Trouser day was instrumental in that quick diagnosis but in this case that’s not strictly true, they had not shared their symptoms with me so did not know they needed to act sooner.
Where it has been incredibly useful is in the information RTD provides which has helped us understand the situation better and has also been a source of comfort that Paul’s story has been a happy one. Knowing there are people out there doing good work to support those affected, and to push forward the research has been a great help. Even though we haven’t engaged any of the RTD services directly, the closeness of our company to this work has given us a sense of community, and just knowing that the company I’ve worked for over 20 years cares enough about this has led to a strange sense that my extended family is doing something about it.
Last week another family member was checked for similar symptoms (thankfully we heard the all-clear today) and I have been explaining the work Paul and our company has been doing and suggested there was things they could do to find out more information if they needed it. Given there is a good plan in place, the support they have been getting from the NHS has been excellent and the speed at which the surgery has been arranged they felt no need to do anything additional at the moment.
I’m telling you this as I wanted Paul to know that the work he is doing has so many hidden levels of positivity that he likely is completely unaware. My family has been through a dark few weeks but the mood right now is one of resolve and positivity due to the amazing work of the NHS, the knowledge we have gained through the RTD websites, and to the feeling that the RTD warriors are out there battling this awful situation. This is far from over for us right now but listening to Paul yesterday was very inspiring and I spoke to my family member this morning and they agreed that I can pass on this message of thanks.
They wanted to know how they can donate and of course I passed on the RTD details, I take comfort knowing I have donated each year but feel slightly guilty that I don’t own a pair of red trousers (I could only muster red socks when I came in on Wednesday!), I will do better next year for sure….
Please pass on this message of thanks and best wishes to Paul and all the volunteers, it is making a big difference out there, perhaps much bigger than they realise. Thanks also to you for organising such incredible events this year, the awareness of this charity is huge and that is largely thanks to you and the OT supporters.