Grantham actress steps up to Bowel Cancer
An actress living in Grantham has been putting her fitness skills to the test this month to raise funds for two Bowel Cancer charities.
Debra Michaels, 57, of Heathfield Road, was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in May 2010.
She underwent treatment including radiotherapy and chemotherapy and is now cancer free.
But determined to raise awareness of the disease , Debra, whose father also had bowel cancer, is taking part in ‘Step up for 30’, which sees participants complete 30 minutes of physical activity every day in June, to raise awareness and boost funds for Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer.
Debra, a stage performer, currently starring in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, said: “I had experienced a change in bowel habits and blood in my poo. I arranged to visit my father’s doctor while living in the US but following visa problems, my appointment was delayed. As soon as I returned to the UK, I rearranged a doctor’s appointment. After my diagnosis I had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and had my first operation. I had an ileostomy for six years, three further surgeries and eventually could have the ileostomy reversed.
“I returned to work on the stage which was both a joy and a challenge. At times it was very scary, but it was where I belonged and I was happy again. I’m now on tour and getting better and stronger every day.”
Debra, who has lived in Grantham since 2014, added: “For my Step up for 30, I’ve been doing free weight and toning workouts. I plan to do some swimming, water aerobics and I’m organising salsa dance warm-up sessions with my company before our shows. It’s so important to me to raise money and awareness of bowel cancer.”
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, with nearly 16,000 people in dying each year of the disease and over 41,000 people being diagnosed. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.
Research shows that taking part in regular physical activity, which is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking every week, can decrease your risk of bowel cancer by as much as 12 per cent.
Bowel Cancer UK is the UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity.
Visit: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk. To donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Debra-Michaels