Rye man’s photography portraits in campaign to show impact of bowel cancer

Richard and his wife Bekky. Photo by Bowel Cancer UK/Sophie Mayanne SUS-190415-124040001
Richard and his wife Bekky. Photo by Bowel Cancer UK/Sophie Mayanne SUS-190415-124040001

A bowel cancer patient has become the face of a national campaign to raise awareness of the disease as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.

Richard Bingham, 40, from Rye, is at the heart of a powerful portrait series for the charity’s national campaign, #Thisisbowelcancer.

Bowel Cancer UK worked with acclaimed photographer, Sophie Mayanne, on the portraits to launch the campaign, which aims to shine a light on the varied and many people affected by bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with almost 42,000 people diagnosed.

More than 16,000 people die each year of the disease making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.

Although the disease is more common in the over 50s, it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.

Richard was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016. He lives in Rye with his partner Bekky, who is also featured in the portrait series.

Since his diagnosis he has undergone bowel and liver surgery, radiotherapy and is currently having chemotherapy.

Richard said: “Bowel cancer is so often unseen, with the patient appearing entirely normal while the disease is on the rampage on the inside, and comes in so many different shapes and forms that it is vital people understand this, especially to allow for early diagnosis.

“The photo shoot was an amazing experience, which left both Bekky and I feeling emotional, part of a community and privileged to be involved in such an awesome and meaningful campaign.”

Deborah Alsina MBE, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “These incredible images are a beautiful homage to those affected by bowel cancer. Young, old, female or male - it can affect us all.

“Around 268,000 people living in the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. But it doesn’t just impact the person with the disease.

“It touches their families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers. That’s millions of people right across the UK. We need more people affected by bowel cancer to come together and take action to create a future where nobody dies of this disease.”

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