Bowel cancer survivor Ken Taylor loves volunteering, whether it’s chatting to people at an awareness stand, fundraising with a bucket or handing out information leaflets.
Last year he took part in a dragon boat race and helped out at a health and well-being day at Ashford Hospital in Middlesex.
He’s even leapt out of a plane – taking part in a parachute jump to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer.
Ken was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 50 in 1995. He was left with a permanent stoma after an operation to remove the tumour. He didn’t need chemo or radiotherapy and was parasailing in Greece six weeks after his operation.
Lack of information at the time of his diagnosis was one of the reasons Ken decided to volunteer.
“When I had my colostomy in 1995 there was very little said about bowel cancer and what might happen, and to a certain degree I had to play it by ear,” he said.
“So after I recovered I thought it would be great to try and help people in whatever way I could, to give them information and support that I didn’t have. As well as fundraising I’ve been involved in patient support over the phone.
“I get a lot out of volunteering. I like meeting people, but it’s the satisfaction of talking and reassuring them that I love, making them aware that there is life after a colostomy.
“When you’ve talked to someone, and you can see that you’ve really helped them – that’s a brilliant feeling.
“I’d urge anyone wanting to help to just get in touch with Beating Bowel Cancer, there’s always someone out there who needs a hand.”