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Victoria & Lynn

#auguts hard to talk about

Victoria and Lynn are both survivors of stage 3 bowel cancer, and live with long-term effects of their treatment. As CEO of Bowel Research UK, Lynn has a unique insight into bowel disease research and shares her hopes for the future.

Victoria Gaston had three cancers in three years, including bowel cancer which led to her losing a significant portion of her bowel. Since then, she has found herself in embarrassing situations due to the long-term effects of bowel surgery, such as incontinence. Despite this, she hopes that in sharing her story and experiences through the power of open and candid conversation, she can help to normalise these topics and encourage others to feel comfortable with discussing their bowel function.
Lynn Dunne is in the unique position of being both a bowel cancer survivor and the CEO of Bowel Research UK. She was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in 2020 and is passionate about funding new research into treatments and cures. She and Victoria share a passion for helping people “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” during the #auguts campaign and beyond. Watch their open and empathetic conversation about the long-term effects of bowel surgery and the stigma around bowel cancer.

On the importance or research, Victoria says: “Victoria: I think getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. That’s what it’s all about. I took huge comfort from hearing other people’s stories. I want other people facing the same issues to not be embarrassed, to not feel that humiliation and to not feel like they can’t talk about it, because talking about it is the most important thing.”

And, Lynn says: “I’m a Stage 3 bowel cancer survivor and I am passionate about this work. I want people to know that because I know what research has done 20 years ago means that we are able to be here today. That’s why I want to do more research, that’s why I want to get the word there. There is a cure for bowel cancer and bowel diseases and it’s called research and in another 20 years’ time we’ll have more great treatments and even cures.”

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Explore the #auguts campaign 2023

#auguts stories

We’re highlighting topics that are difficult to talk about and research that’s hard to fund. Read and watch stories from bowel cancer and bowel disease patients and researchers.


I was born 8 weeks premature with Intestinal Malrotation. My understanding is they weren’t sure what was causing me the pain as a newborn, being premature too. When surgery was eventually done it was found my bowels had twisted. Corrective surgery was done. I was christened in the hospital as it wasn’t looking great.

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I have diverticular disease on the right side of my body and I believe only a few people have it on this side.

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Frank McDermott

Mr Frank McDermott is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Cancer lead for the Genomics Medicine Service Alliance in Southwest England. His grant with Bowel Research UK why some patients with diverticulitis experience serious complications such as blood infection, while others have milder disease. 

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Share your #auguts story

Join the #auguts campaign by sharing your own story via video or the written word! We are looking for videos and stories about difficult conversations people have had about their bowel condition, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, or anything else related. Our Patient and Public Involvement Manager Sam Alexandra Rose has created her own video as an example, which you can see below to give you some ideas.

Your video or written story will appear on our website and be shared on our social media channels. Please include your social media handles if you feel comfortable with us tagging you when we share your story. Videos may be edited slightly, for example by adding captions or putting several videos together, or adding our logo. Take a look at this guide for some tips on filming video on your phone. If you have any questions, email sam@bowelresearchuk.org.

    Please use the field below to attach your story as a word document or video as well as accompanying photos

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    We may stay in touch with you by post and phone with news from Bowel Research UK, and information about events you might be interested in and other ways your fundraising can support bowel research. For more information about what we do with your data, please read our privacy policy.

    Find out more about #auguts 2023

    We brought some of our patients, researchers and our CEO together to talk about what makes bowel disease hard to talk about and hard to fund. Watch them share their stories and join the campaign.

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    Let's end bowel cancer & bowel disease.