My Story Is All About Hope!

My Story Is All About Hope!

This year has been an incredible one for me personally. As the cancer support sector in the UK continues to be dominated by the same organisations, who have little to offer other than fundraising challenges, my focus has turned to the global issues of cancer. I have travelled to places where there is a real determination to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. This despite those countries having nothing like the resources we have, but key to that is the will to improve! 

My story has become a beacon throughout the world, not only for the work I do, but for the hope I give. As most of you know, my health was so poor that I was given only six months to live, and now I am into my eleventh year. For many people across the world they see a cancer diagnosis as a death sentence, which is very sad because more often it isn’t! But that psyche is very hard to change as it has come down the generations and is cultural. So when I talk at international conferences people want to meet me and know more about how I have survived for so long. 

When I was diagnosed in 2007 I had gone from a successful and valued person to just another cancer statistic. I felt like a casualty of war, needing people to look after me 24/7. Reliant on my family and friends and constantly in and out of hospital was a terrible psychological blow. My lack of independence gone at a stroke. There have been some terrible times, where I didn’t believe I would even see the next day. My wife and I have discussed my death so many times, we have even become relaxed about it now. 

But all of this period in my life was yet more experience for me to learn from, and I certainly have! Society seemed to turn it’s nose up at me returning to a normal life. Too sick to work regularly and discriminated against everywhere I went because I got cancer. It never surprises me that so many issues of mental health problems are brought on by this disease. I am both physically and mentally tough, but even I have been close to the edge on numerous occasions and still require medication to ensure I sleep.

This experience made me want to improve things for people living with cancer and my life is now changed forever. Learning from the very basic cancer support groups to guest speaker at international conferences, meeting incredible people as I go. Social-media has been an incredible tool for me, and people know about my work across the globe. My work with simPal is another gift, helping under-privileged families with the cost of mobile communication. My ‘experience folder’ is so full that I am now considered an expert, and get invited to many countries to speak. Unfortunately as there is only one of me I am unable to take up many of the offers I receive.

But the big news is that I am delighted to receive an invitation to speak at the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Yes, it was a massive wow from me when I saw it! The largest International cancer conference in the world wants to hear from me. They want me talk about collaboration in the cancer sector, and how it is so important to the work I do. 3500 people attending from every country in the world. This will be the peak of my speaking work, and at 62 I don’t know how long I will be able to continue with travelling and the physical and emotional demands of this work, so to achieve an invitation like this is incredible. 

I am telling this story to show who knows what can happen in life? Patience has become one of my great strengths, and I let life happen rather than make too many plans. The fact that my health has stayed constant in recent years has been a bonus and enabled me to focus on what I enjoy. Since cancer, my life has taken very tiny, but forward steps. Now my work is known around the globe by clinicians, charities and politicians. I have won awards and time permitting, there will be a book.

Even I struggle to understand what has taken place since I got cancer, but there is always a very stark reminder as I must attend hospital on a regular basis for ongoing tests. In my life before cancer I always believed in my own ability and despite being a failure at school, I went on to run my own very successful multi million pound business. My confidence has returned and my skills are now well used, and I feel very empowered by my cancer experience. It has taken any fear of failure from me and enables me to achieve things I never could before. 

Cancer certainly took much from me, but it has also given so many things I could never imagine. Keep believing and retain your hope as none of us know what tomorrow might bring!! 

 

The Grove Hotel Bournmouth
 I am very pleased to be an official Support Partner of  The Grove Hotel in Bournemouth, which is the only hotel in the UK specifically for people affected by  cancer.
24 Comments
  1. Fantastic to hear this Chris. You are the voice for many, many cancer patients and what you do makes a huge impact on our community. In an ideal world, none of us would have to be doing what we do to try and make things better for others, but we do it because we can and because we care. Thank you for all you do. xx

    • Thanks so much Kaz! It was incredible to get this invitation. They want me to talk about collaboration in my personal and charity work with YoursimPal Our community is doing so many things that the giants can’t do. I will continue to bring them all to account until they start treating people affected by cancer with more respect. If it supposed to be about us, how come no one listens? I am preparing an interesting speech! Thank you for your support, because none of this happens without us guys helping each other.

  2. As ever inspirational Chris! I’m not at all surprised they want to see you in Malaysia, you are a beacon of light! So glad for you! Lots of love – Christina

    • Thanks as always Christina! It is a great honour to be invited to share my work at this conference. It puts everything on a different level now. Your support is much valued XXX

  3. Brilliant Chris – the work you do is an inspiration to everyone and to be recognised in this way is so deserved.

    • Thanks so much Ken! It makes it easier to get to the top tables in the UK that’s for sure.

  4. Wow Chris this is AWESOME!!! You certainly are a light for me! Having my first rescan recently and finding I’m still in remission from mantle cell lymphoma has me very excited. Your story brings loads of hope to this American girl. Blessings on your trip and talk!

    • I very honoured Tamara! I want to take my hope around the world and show people what can also happen. I’m delighted to hear your own news when taking on this dreadful disease. Keep your faith and hope XXXX

  5. Great news!
    I’ve also been invited to Dubai to the world congress on polycystic Ovarian syndrome and fertility in October and also invited to Budapest to speak at a Gynecologic oncology conference nice to be noticed and asked

    • Thanks Clare! It’s so important to share our experiences, and there are certainly some good platforms out there. I hope you manage to get to speak at some of these. Your work is so important and thank you for what you do XX

  6. Thanks for all the amazing work you do worldwide on behalf of cancer patients. I sincerely hope you are able to continue inspiring others long into the future. Xx

    • Thank you Margaret, and you too! While people want to listen to what I have to say, I will be around XXX

  7. I read your blog avidly when I was diagnosed in 2014 Chris. My friend Ismena Clout passed it to me. You’re a good man.

    • Thank you Michael, Ismena was an incredible lady. Your support is much valued. I hope life is treating you kindly?

  8. Congratulations Chris, you really are a shining star and example to so many ❤️

    • Thx Dawn, we’re all doing our bit to make the world a better place. ❤️

  9. You are an amazing human, Chris. Thanks for all you do to help others.

    • Thanks so much Lori. Trying to do the best I can. Appreciate your support XX

  10. This is wonderful news, Chris, and a well deserved invitation. Deb X

    • Thx so much Deb. A great opportunity to meet some global ambassadors and push on with what I am doing.

  11. Hope you enjoy Kuala Lumpur! It’s amazing watching you inspire people all around the world! best of wishes for you and Sue

    • Thank you so much Raya! Will be looking forward to catching up with Carol again too! We miss you guys! Hope all is ok with you, and Sue is waving

  12. You are an inspiration and have helped so may people -it is fantastic that you are well recognised as the force for good that you are, so that you can help more! Best regards to you and your family!

    • Thanks for your fabulous support Ailsa. You totally understand what is happening here. As my influence grows it becomes easier to help more people. As we are only too well aware cancer is a global issue and I’m now pleased to be more regularly on the global stage. I hope the move went well and you guys are all settled, big love XXX

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