Cancer survivor says: ‘Be Brave, Don’t Shave’

Joel Stern PNL-151210-164218001
Joel Stern PNL-151210-164218001

Joel Stern from Berkhamsted is joining leading cancer charity Bowel Cancer UK to encourage men to lay down their razors in December and ‘Be Brave, Don’t Shave’.

It’s a cause close to Joel’s heart, as he has survived bowel cancer, and he is urging other men to take part in the charity’s Decembeard challenge and raise funds to save lives.

Joel also took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon last weekend, raising £915 so far for Bowel Cancer UK.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, with more than 16,000 people dying from the diseaseevery year.

Joel’s bowel cancer was discovered by accident during an operation to remove his appendix in 2011, when the surgical team found a cancerous tumour. Although it was removed, he needed more surgery months later, where they removed half of his bowel.

Fortunately for Joel, chemotherapy wasn’t necessary, although he and his wife had decided to start a family in case it was – and three weeks before his second bout of surgery, he found out that his wife was pregnant.

Joel is now the proud father of three-year-old Ethan.

He will, however, be having tests every few months for up to five years.

Joel said: “I feel extremely lucky that my tumour was discovered so early.

“The whole experience has made me reassess my life, and the best thing of all is that I have a beautiful family to come home to.”