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Published Thursday 6 Dec 2018

Beaver Harvison is no stranger to health, working at the hospital daily. But, despite his good understanding of the benefits of screening, he still procrastinated when he received his Bowel Screening kit in the mail.

“I thought, ‘Oh Yeah, that’s arrived. Good’ and I put it to the side,” he said. “Something to sit around for ages, you know it’s there but you don’t want to do it.”

His two daughters, Monique and Alex, and his wife, Sue had other ideas. They were very persistent and kept on his case. “’Do you want to see your grand kids and your daughters grow old? Dad take the test, how hard could it be?’ They were pretty determined,” Beaver remembers.

”Health, happiness and family, that’s what it’s all about. And not necessarily in that order,” said Beaver. He is convinced that the best gift you can provide your family is your health.

Beaver finally gave in to his family’s persistence. They’d been keeping on his case about the test every time they passed the kit in its envelope. “They wanted me to do it, ‘Full Stop’ so I did as I was told, and took the test,” he said.

When he picked up the test kit, Beaver had a read and couldn’t believe how easy it was.

“Dip it, put it in the sealed tube and send it away, how simple is that!” he said. “It’s not half of what you girls have to do with all your checks.”

Just ten working days from sending off the completed test in the post, the result came back to say everything was fine.

He didn’t tell anyone, but waited for a family get-together with his daughters and their families and then made the happy announcement. ”By the way, I’m ALL CLEAR,” he told them.

A friend of Beaver’s required a colonoscopy after completing his test, successfully catching him at the early stages of bowel cancer. “How lucky for me that I was clear,” said Beaver. “But how lucky for him! Screening really could have saved his life. A five minute job and a precious life saved. It’s a no-brainer,” said Beaver.

”Everyone over 60 MUST DO IT. It is peace of mind, it is so simple, and it’s FREE.”

“It’s the best gift you can give your family,” Beaver said.

If you are wondering what to get your family this Christmas, and one of them (or you!) has an invitation to the bowel screening programme sitting ignored on top of the fridge, then the best gift there is, is already there. Give them health. Take Beaver’s advice, get the bowel screening kit done and sent, and provide your family peace of mind for Christmas.

For more information about bowel screening see www.timetoscreen.co.nz