After already battling cancer once, a pub landlord is confident he will beat it again and is holding a fund-raiser to support others who may be going through the same thing.
John Druce, who runs The Smiths Arms, in Lea, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and was given the all clear following treatment.
However, he was recently given the bad news that he will have to fight the disease all over again and has just finished five weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
He is now celebrating with a fun day at the park, in Darkinson Lane, on Saturday, April 13, with funds going towards Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support.
John, 59, said: “I was in serious pain in 2011 and went to the hospital, but I was told there was nothing wrong.
“Then two nights before New Year I was in so much pain again, and I ended up going to hospital again on New Year’s Day.
“I was diagnosed with a septic tumour and spent three week in hospital. A few days before I went home, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“I had six months of chemotherapy and my weight went down to six stone.
“I really needed to do something positive, so I started playing football twice a week, whilst wearing my colostomy bag. I was doing this whilst having a further 18 months of chemotherapy.
“At the time, I was running a cafe and it was tough. My wife, Debra, who is my rock, had to look after the business and look after me. It was a struggle but we got through it.”
But the father-of-two began to notice something was wrong a few before Christmas and he was diagnosed with the cancer again.
John added: “This time around I diagnosed myself because I knew what to look for. This time, although it was bowel cancer again, it was in the lower rectum.
“I finished the chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Rosemere in February and in May doctors will reassess the tumour via an MRI scan to see if it has shrunk. This time, I have a ileostomy bag and I am having everything removed, with a bag for life, but I am okay with that.
“I’ve got a long and difficult operation ahead where I’ll be spending eight hours under the knife. But it’s not just me, there are many other people fighting cancer – it touches every family. This is the second time round for me.
“I feel very positive about it all. I feel strong enough to fight it. There is no point worrying about it, as that can actually have an impact on your health.
“I now want to focus on the fund-raising. Places like Rosemere and organisations like Macmillan are working hard to help people through. For some it’s their lifeline. I just wanted to do something for them so we are organising a fund-raising event.”
The charity day will start at 2pm and will go on until midnight, with a DJ, eight live music acts, an auction, food and games.
Comedian Johnnie Casson, who has appeared on ITV’s The Comedians and Des O’Connor Tonight, will also be entertaining guests.
John added: “We have had so much support from everyone,
“Barton Grange, where Debra works, has pledged to donate £250 if she raises that much, which I am sure she will.
“Two local farmers, Richard Helm and Steve Phoenix, have donated food, so half the proceeds from that will go towards the charities.
“We have a raffle and auction with great prizes. We are offering wrist bands for £5, Entry to the event is free but a wristband automatically enters a person into our draw to win a big prize.”
Thwaites Director of Pubs and Brewing, Andrew Buchanan, said: “We will be supporting John and his team with this event and hope it raises lots of money for these worthy causes. He has a great, positive attitude that is an inspiration to us all.”