BELINDA Scott never thought she might not live to see 30.
This year, at just 27 years old, the Ballarat mother of two found out she had stage four bowel and liver cancer.
Doctors say she could have a little as two years to live.
Still a picture of health, the vibrant young mother and wife is selflessly urging all young people to pay attention to the warning signs.
“You think cancer is just for older people and you think because you’re young you won’t get cancer,” she said.
“It can happen to anyone.
“You often go to the doctor and feel like an idiot when you mention certain worries.
“But people, especially young people, need to pay more attention to their health.”
Ms Scott, who lives in Ballarat North with her husband Ben and son, Harvey, 7, and Archie, 4, went to the Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital emergency department on April 24 after noticing pain in her ribs.
Scans revealed a tumour in her bowel.
A biopsy was sent for testing, which revealed it was cancerous.
Adding to the heartache, a CT scan later showed that seven parts of her liver also contained stage four cancer.
“There had been signs in the past and I wish I had paid more attention to them,” she said.
“I used to get pain in my back, I had the odd bowel issue. There is a history of bowel issues in my family ... there were signs.”
Now fighting fit and doing all she can to beat “this current hurdle”, Ms Scott wants her plight to encourage others to get checked and raise awareness for young people living with cancer.
“I mean, they recommend scans in your 50s and 60s to check, but really it needs to be much earlier,” she said.
“Doctors said I may have had bowel cancer for three to five years.”
Ms Scott expressed her thanks to the doctors and nurses at Ballarat Health Services oncology unit.
Speaking from her home where she sat with a chemotherapy drip in her arm, she had a few messages for the people of Ballarat.
“Don’t ignore the warning signs and don’t be afraid to visit a GP,” she said.
“Listen to your body and don’t doubt yourself.
“Most of all, don’t ever take anything for granted.”
Anyone wishing to show Ms Scott their support can like the Facebook page ‘my shave for Binny’.
More information and the chance to donate is available by visiting belindasappeal.com