BRAVE Dolores and Stuart Westfield have revealed their cancer heartache to millions of people on a television advert.
Dolores, sitting next to her husband, speaks emotionally about her fight against bowel cancer in the advert for Cancer Research UK.
The couple, of Creek Road, Hayling Island, shared their experiences to give others hope of beating the disease.
Dolores, 67, had to have a colostomy bag fitted and with support from her family and friends she got through the disease and has been free of the cancer for five years.
She said: ‘I was shocked when I was first asked to appear in the advert, but the response has been very favourable.
‘Many people have been in touch to say well done for taking part.
‘One friend immediately phoned up and organised a monthly donation as a direct result of the advert.
‘It was strange at first, but after it had been running for a few weeks we got used to seeing ourselves appearing.
‘I don’t mind sharing my cancer experience. The more people who know it is possible to survive bowel cancer, the better.
‘You hear so many horror stories, but I want people to know that you can have a happy life, even after a colostomy. Too many people give up and that is too awful.’
The advert, which recently completed its run, featured cancer survivors of all ages sitting side-by-side with their loved ones.
The Westfields were the first to appear.
Stuart, 39, a mountaineer, described the shock he felt when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
He said: ‘It was like being punched in the stomach.’
Mrs Westfield was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006 after experiencing pain and bleeding.
She underwent three months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment but was then told she faced surgery to remove her rectum and have a colostomy bag fitted.
The cancer was treated with drugs that Cancer Research UK scientists helped to test – including capecitabine. She is just one of the thousands of people who have benefited from research. To support Cancer Research UK visit cancerresearchuk.org.