Man fundraises in tribute to sister who died of bowel cancer following incorrect diagnoses

9 July 2014

A man is running for World Cancer Research Fund in memory of his sister after she died of bowel cancer, following incorrect diagnoses of Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Rob Newton’s sister Dr Suzanne Gould died in March aged just 29 after an 18-month battle with bowel cancer.

After suffering from stomach pains so severe that they forced her to miss part of her brother’s wedding, the biomedicine technician was initially told by doctors that she couldn’t be suffering from bowel cancer as she was so young.

Despite six months of pain, in November 2012 doctors finally realised that Suzanne was suffering from a massive tumour and she was rushed to hospital to have surgery, before she began an 18-month fight against the disease.

But the Kingston University technician, from Dorking, passed away in March this year, mere weeks after she was told her condition had become terminal.

Now her brother Rob, a marketing manager from Rochester, is planning to run a fun run for World Cancer Research Fund to raise awareness and funds for cancer prevention.

Rob, 30, said: “When she was diagnosed with a tumour, it was devastating but equally frustrating that we hadn’t known sooner.

“But through it all Suzanne handled her treatment with dignity and bravery. She was not only positive and determined to beat cancer but wanted to raise awareness in young people that you can never be too young to have bowel cancer.

“It was a huge shock when we discovered it was terminal. But throughout it all Suzanne was bright and upbeat. She was that kind of person, wanting to help others and stay strong for her family.

Suzanne, who went to Chatham Grammar School for Girls, spent months in the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton where she endured bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to try and treat the cancer.

She was also treated in Medway Hospital and finally cared for in St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley.

But she lost her fight on March 18, leaving behind her lecturer husband, Dr Simon Gould, and her family.

Rob will now run a 3km fun run with his company Informa, who have been a World Cancer Research Fund corporate partner for the past eight years, on June 5 in a bid to raise funds and awareness of the link between cancer and diet, physical activity and body weight.

“Suzanne didn’t just focus on herself when she was ill. She was a case study for Bowel Cancer UK presentation at the Houses of Parliament because she wanted to help with research and education.

“We now need to continue her legacy and this run is all about raising awareness about the condition and helping to collect much needed money for cancer prevention research.”

Michael Smeaton, World Cancer Research Fund’s deputy head of fundraising, said: “We’re honoured that Rob is raising money for us. Cancer can be devastating and it is thanks to people like Rob and his company Informa that we can continue to fund vital research into preventing this disease.”

Scientists say about a third of cancers could be prevented if people were to maintain a healthy body weight, eat a healthy diet and be more physically active.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. In 2011, around 42,000 cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed.

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Anna Edwards on 020 7343 4235.