Hike holds strong meaning for John

CANCER SURVIVOR: Bowel cancer survivor John Clements has lost family members to the disease. He will trek 80 kilometres in a fund-raiser this weekend. Photo: Ben Kelly.

CANCER SURVIVOR: Bowel cancer survivor John Clements has lost family members to the disease. He will trek 80 kilometres in a fund-raiser this weekend. Photo: Ben Kelly.

REGION – A 60-year-old bowel cancer survivor will be among hundreds hiking 80 kilometres of the Heysen Trail this week.

Normanville’s John Clements will take part in the Jodi Lee Foundation Trek on May 19 and 20, hiking along the Heysen Trail in and around Myponga and Victor Harbor.

Through this trek, the Jodi Lee Foundation (JLF) has already raised more than $140,000 for research and awareness of bowel cancer prevention.

The Jodi Lee Foundation was established in honour of Jodi Lee, who lost her battle with bowel cancer at age 41. 

The foundation’s mission is to empower people to take active steps to prevent bowel cancer and live healthy lives. 

Bowel cancer has had a dramatic impact on John’s life.

“Turning 50 was a significant turning point in my life,” John said. 

“My mother, Shirley had battled bowel cancer for several years, and with other family members affected by the disease, she pestered me to have a checkup. Her intuition proved correct with a colonoscopy detecting a tumour.

“I had surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007 followed by six months of chemotherapy.

“My mother passed away on the morning of my 11th treatment, leaving me with so much to thank her for. Early detection proved, once again, to be a godsend.

“Sharing my story and doing voluntary work for Cancer Council SA is my way of saying thank you to my mother for saving my life.”

JLF founder Nick Lee said the event played an important role, not only raising much-needed funds but also raising awareness of bowel cancer prevention.

“The JLF Trek is a challenging and exciting event, and it is wonderful to see so many new faces this year, as well as previous participants taking to the Heysen Trail with us once again,” Nick said.

“It’s our most successful event, and we are excited to see it grow and reach new people, many who have been touched by bowel cancer.

“These people play a key role in helping us raise awareness of the disease through their fundraising activities, and spreading the word to their networks that bowel cancer can be prevented”.

Participants will set out at dawn on the first day, trekking 40 kilometres from Myponga to Petrel Cove, Victor Harbor. On Saturday, May 20, trekkers will hike 35 kilometres from Tunkalilla to Petrel Cove, Victor Harbor.

For more information visit jodileefoundation.org.au

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