An ITV News Meridian presenter has urged young people to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer after the death of his husband from the condition aged just 31.

Kit Wilson-Bradshaw, from Horsham, is raising awareness about the condition ahead of a fundraiser in memory of his husband, Laurence, next week.

The couple met at the University of Sussex and embarked on a workplace romance at the students’ union in 2012.

Kit said that Laurence often suffered from stomach aches, bloating and a stitch in his side. 

Laurence had visited his GP about the issue, but his symptoms were dismissed as irritable bowel syndrome.

However, his problems persisted and, after moving and seeing a different GP, he was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in April 2019.

Although he underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, his cancer returned and was incurable as it had spread to his bones.

The Argus: Laurence and Kit Wilson-BradshawLaurence and Kit Wilson-Bradshaw

Kit ran the Brighton Marathon last year to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK, with Laurence cheering him on along the 26.2-mile route.

Kit explained that, by that point, the couple were having to have conversations with hospices and discussing end-of-life care.

He said: “It was a really difficult time for both of us and things moved downhill quite quickly after the marathon.”

Laurence passed away at the end of June last year, aged 31.

The pair went on one last trip away to Brighton just a week before his death, spending a weekend at The Grand hotel with some of his Laurence’s oldest friends from university.

“It wasn’t the weekend he would have wanted, because of how well he was at that stage, but he loved to hear the sea and be by the seaside,” Kit said.

“That is a memory I will definitely treasure - being able to come back to Brighton one last time together.

“He was such a kind, gentle, thoughtful and warm person.”

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Kit is now raising money for a bowel cancer charity in his husband’s memory, with a group of 50 of Laurence’s friends and family planning to walk 24 miles along the coast from Beachy Head to Brighton.

His fundraiser, For the Love of Laurence, has raised more than £2,500 for Bowel Cancer UK.

Kit hopes to raise more awareness not only of the illness but smash the idea that bowel cancer is exclusively an “old person’s disease”.

He said: “Thousands of young people get diagnosed with bowel cancer every year. There are still misconceptions, not just among the public, but among health care professionals and some GPs that it can’t be bowel cancer because you’re too young.

“Laurence was 27 when he was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. If he was older, he might have got fast-tracked for a colonoscopy.”

Kit urged people to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, regardless of age, and encouraged younger people to be “robust” with their GP if they are concerned.

“Laurence was diagnosed late and his symptoms were misdiagnosed, so go back, ask for a second opinion and be your own advocate for your own health - it really is a matter of life and death,” he said.

“Don’t let your age or perceptions about your lifestyle or how healthy you are from stopping you getting the tests you need. The quicker you get diagnosed, the better chance you have of living for a long time.”


He also encouraged people to not let any awkwardness about talking about bowel movements and poo put them off seeking help and advice about symptoms they are worried about.

“A lot of the symptoms are to do with bowel habits and blood in your poo, so be open about talking about that, not only with your GP but with other family members. Don't let it rest on your mind or be too squeamish to talk about it.

“It's so important to break that taboo because if we can't talk to our friends and family about poo and bowel habits, what hope have we got about talking about it to a stranger like our GPs? We have to be relaxed about talking about these things, because it can save your life."

Kit hopes the fundraiser will become an annual event, raising money for different cancer charities and other groups that helped Laurence each year.

Every year, more than 2,500 people under 50 years old are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK, with Bowel Cancer UK running a campaign since 2013 to raise awareness of the symptoms among younger people

Symptoms of bowel cancer include persistent stomach pains, changing bowel habits and persistent blood in poo.

Kit, along with Laurence’s family and friends, will take part in the walk next Saturday - donations to the fundraiser can be made at