Brave dad leads the fight

Stand up: John Ellison is campaigning against cancer
Stand up: John Ellison is campaigning against cancer
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A dad staring death in the face is fronting a campaign to help save lives.

John Ellison is urging people to “Stand Up To Cancer” and support a new fundraising campaign. He is also taking part in clinical trials which he hopes will help other sufferers.

The 49-year-old was diagnosed with advanced cancer 12 months ago. He is now receiving treatment to keep the cancer at bay, but will not be cured of the disease.

Father-of-one John, who lives in Ribchester, worked as a surveyor before his diagnosis and has been a keen sportsman and climber all his life.

When he developed an ache in his right leg last autumn, he shrugged it off, thinking it was nothing serious.

However, after a visit to the GP, who he had seen many times for previous sports injuries, John was sent for a series of tests to Blackburn Royal Infirmary, including a gamma scan and an MRI scan.

He said he felt like he had “been hit with a sledgehammer” when he was told he had advanced cancer of the prostate and had also developed secondary tumours throughout his body which could not be cured.

Following the shock news, John vowed to make the most of every day and to be open as possible about his future prognosis.

He has volunteered to take part in clinical trials to try to help people diagnosed with cancer in the future.

John, who has an 18-year-old daughter, Charlotte, started a type of chemotherapy treatment last December which is part of a clinical trial. He will receive the treatment every three weeks for the next 12 months.

John, whose mother died of breast cancer when he was only 23, has already raised £16,000 for Cancer Research UK and has plenty of other activities in the pipeline.

He said: “People keep telling me I’m inspirational which is just daft. I have no choice but to get on with my life.

“I want to concentrate on living and not dying and spend time with my friends and family who I love.

“Being told I had advanced cancer and that there was no cure was completely devastating and utterly shocking, but I just want to make the most of every day and spend as much time as possible with my daughter. Thanks to research, I am still here.”

He added: “Buying and wearing a Stand Up To Cancer wristband is a really simple way to join the fight and show your support.”

for all the people, like myself, diagnosed with this devastating disease in Lancashire.”

The Cancer Research UK shop in Castle Street, Clitheroe, is selling a wide range of T-shirts and accessories, including the wristbands, for £1 each. Stores including, TK Maxx and Tesco. are selling special wristbands.

Cancer Research UK Area Volunteer Manager in Lancashire, Chloe Williams, said: “We are calling on everyone in Lancashire to unite with people across the UK and stand up to this terrible disease.

“We are entering a ‘golden age’ of cancer research and every pound we raise takes us a step closer to achieving our goal to beat this disease. By boosting funding right now, the best research teams will be able to develop new treatments, bring cures faster and save more lives.”

For more information and to get involved visit To support John’s fundraising efforts visit: