Charlotte Meddings was diagnosed with bowel cancer after watching Lorraine’s No Butts campaign in 2021. She didn’t know about symptoms until she heard Lorraine discussing warning signs
The No Butts campaign, which launched last year, has already saved one life.
After watching Lorraine’s No Butts campaign in 2021, Charlotte Meddings from Ipswich made an appointment with her doctor and was later diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The 33-year-old mum of two children – William, 12, and ten-year-old daughter Olivia – says she had no idea about symptoms until she heard Lorraine discussing warning signs.
Charlotte said: “I just had the telly on in the background while I was making some coffee after dropping the kids off, and Lorraine and a doctor were talking about looking for bowel changes. It stopped me in my tracks – I had been very constipated for the past few weeks. The only way I could go to the toilet was to exercise beforehand, which left me quite uncomfortable. I tried natural laxatives, but it was still a real struggle. I didn’t have any idea why this was suddenly happening to me.
“The doctor on TV mentioned that it was a symptom when things go over the three-week mark, you should get checked out, and I knew it had been longer for that for me, so I just stopped what I was doing, got my phone and made an appointment with my GP.”
At the appointment, GP referred Charlotte for a colonoscopy and blood test and after a further test doctors found a polyp – a potentially cancerous growth of tissue.
However, it was too big to remove, so a third colonoscopy was arranged at Ipswich hospital two months later when it was removed, and doctors discovered it contained the tumour.
She said: “I was frightened but did my best to put it out of my mind so I could just get on being a mum and make sure the children didn’t know anything was wrong. ”
After the polyp removal, a consultant confirmed it had been bowel cancer.
Charlotte said: “I was stunned and the consultant seemed just as stunned – she kept repeating how young I was. I’m a fit, healthy person; I do yoga, I eat well.
“I held it together in the consultants’ room, but I was so upset at home. I raised a lot on my parents’ shoulders. They live nearby and were there to support me.”
Charlotte had an operation to remove part of her bowel to check cancer had not spread. Then a week later, she was given good news.
She said: “I was shopping in Morrisons, and my consultant called to say they had caught all the cancer and I wouldn’t need any chemotherapy. I just raised tears of relief. I still have to go for check-ups, but I am so, so grateful that I phoned my GP when I did. I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn’t had Lorraine on in the background that morning.”
Lorraine Kelly said: “I’m hugely proud of the campaigning work my team and I do on the show whether it is our Change + Check campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness or our No Butts campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness, and if we help save the life of just one person then it is all worthwhile. Charlotte’s story is such a positive one. Thanks to seeing our campaign, she was diagnosed early, had the tumor removed and now needs no more treatment.
“I feel unbelievably honored that we had the chance to play a part in saving someone’s life, what’s better than that? Charlotte is a real life example of how if bowel cancer is diagnosed early, then it is treatable and curable. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer IF it is diagnosed at an early stage, and this is why campaigns like ours are so vital.”