Jenna Brook, on a bowel-cancer awareness quest named Running for Bums, will strip down to her smalls if she raises $35,000 before she reaches Roma next week.
Jenna Brook, on a bowel-cancer awareness quest named Running for Bums, will strip down to her smalls if she raises $35,000 before she reaches Roma next week. Contributed

Runner set for undies dash

A WOMAN running the length of Australia for cancer will dash through Roma in her undies if her fundraising efforts reach $35,000.

Jenna Brook began her 4500km quest, Running for Bums, in Tasmania in February. She hopes to reach Cape York in June.

She wants to start conversations about bums

and will pass through the Maranoa region next week.

Roma residents can expect a colourful arrival on Thursday, April 19, if she raises $35,000 by the time she hits the town: She has agreed to strip down to her undies and run through Roma with just that covering her bottom.

"I'm looking forward to seeing that fundraising tally tick over, even if it does means running through Roma with my undies on full display. As they say: sun's out, bums out,” Jenna laughed.

Running for Bums involves Jenna, 30, making her way from the southernmost end of Tasmania to the tip of Cape York.

She began her mission on February 17 and is about to finish her NSW leg, passing through Collarenebri and Mungundi, and is scheduled to cross the border into her home state tomorrow.

As of Sunday, Jenna had already run and walked more than 1700km and raised more than $25,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia.

Along her route, Jenna is on a mission to start a nationwide conversation about bowel cancer risk factors and early screening.

"Eighty Australians die every week from bowel cancer, making it our nation's second biggest cancer killer. If you talk to friends and family about bowel cancer, it is amazing how many have stories to tell,” she said.

Jenna said bowel cancer was preventable, treatable and beatable with treatment having a 90 per cent success rate if detected early but currently only about 40 per cent were caught in time.

"So many late diagnoses come down to sheer embarrassment and I'd love to see the end of that,” she said.

"Many people are still too embarrassed to report symptoms to their doctors and push for screening.”

"Still more people avoid discussing bowel cancer within a family setting because it seems undignified however the fact is that one in four people diagnosed have a family history of bowel cancer.”

Jenna's grandfather survived bowel cancer late in his life.

The family took the matter seriously and Jenna was fortunate to grow up in an environment where bowel health was openly discussed.

As a result, she has a proactive approach to bowel cancer screening, despite the complexities of residing in the remote outback town of Birdsville.

"I have grown up knowing that my risk is elevated. I've now had three colonoscopies since I was 25, as a preventative measure.”

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