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I was one of 5,000!

Successful businessman of Trilogy and Moa beer Grant Baker (The Bakery) tells us how having money doesn’t always discriminate.

About ten years ago, I was feeling very comfortable in my position as Executive Chairman of 42 Below Ltd, a vodka and gin producer that had just been recognised by Deloitte as New Zealand’s fastest growing business.

Family life was good and I had regularly been fuelling my passion for motor racing. My only problem was that I had started to experience some pretty bad stomach cramps which were usually accompanied by bouts of nausea.

Being a guy, I chose to ignore them for as long as possible, but the cramps kept getting stronger and came more regularly. It finally got to the stage where I had to visit my GP to find out what was wrong and stop the pain. He gave me a physical examination which didn’t show any problems, and organised a blood test as a further pre-cautionary check. At my follow up appointment, he told me that my cancer markers were normal but my red blood count was slightly low. He then said he would get me to go for a colonoscopy to check further as to what was causing my problems. I wasn’t too keen on that idea and resisted, but my GP insisted. I had the colonoscopy a few days later and had the instant diagnosis of bowel cancer. It was a shattering blow.

I was however to find out that I am 1 of 5,000 people diagnosed each year with some form of Gastro-intestinal cancer, of which over 50% will die within 5 years. Thankfully I haven’t been that statistic. But I and my oncologist, other top specialists and business people went on to set up GICI (said Giki) to support clinical research for it. Watch our video to understand more here. It has the highest annual diagnoses, above breast, prostate, melanoma and certainly the worst survival.

Our new campaign highlights “Not to be ignored” – we want to become better known and we certainly want to raise better funding to support research to improve outcomes for patients with gastro-intestinal cancer.

To support this cause and build awareness we want you to do two things – Text GICI to 2449 to donate $3 or donate here, and do it as many times as you like, or paint your stomach with the stats above and the words #GutsyForGici and share it with as many people you can. Dare you!