Tim Jelley works as a senior international trade adviser for UK Trade and Investment, and as co-editor at Converse, a magazine for people with stomas or interested in stoma care. He fought bowel cancer for six years.
How did you become involved with the charity? I became involved with Beating Bowel Cancer through my association with ConvaTec UK, which is my medical supplier and the producer of Converse magazine, and then through one of Beating Bowel Cancer's national patients' groups. I made the decision to participate in Trek Vietnam, a six-day, 120km journey through the highlands of Vietnam earlier this year during a patients day out, organised by Beating Bowel Cancer. Trek Vietnam is the second overseas trek for Beating Bowel Cancer and will involve 27 people from around the UK.
After winning my six-year battle with bowel cancer a year ago, I thought this was the best way to give back to other people affected by this disease by raising awareness as well as significant funds.
What have you done to support the trek? I have donated more than £5,000 to this project, but I think the greatest contribution has come from the readers of our magazine and from ConvaTec UK. We sent a letter to each of our readers asking them to donate at least £1 each and nearly 3,000 responded, which ConvaTec UK boosted by £5,000. With these donations, along with the local fundraising efforts of my wife Rose, we have raised more than £24,000.
What do you like about Beating Bowel Cancer? I like this charity because it is very up-front in its efforts to spread awareness about this disease.
It is a British thing that people don't like talking about bums, whereas breast cancer is viewed as much more fashionable to talk about. This charity works very hard to make it acceptable to talk about this disease by spreading awareness and funds for those who are affected.
What do you get out of the relationship? I get to help people but, most importantly, I can show people that it is possible to have a normal life after going through something like this.