Father-of-four Steve de-Haan thought he had won his battle with cancer six years ago, but now he has been told it has come back with a vengeance and he has just a year to live.
But Chorley man Steve, who has six grandchildren, has found out about a groundbreaking new treatment which could extend his life by up to 10 years.
Now his friends and family are rallying round to raise £50,000 to send him to Germany for the cancer immunotherapy treatment.
Steve, 59, said: “It’s quite a thing when someone tells you you have a year to live, it came out of the blue.”
He had battled bowel cancer six years ago, but at his final annual check-up in February he was given the all-clear.
But in August he began coughing up blood.
Alarmed, the labourer, who had to have part of his bowel removed in his fight against the deadly disease, went to a specialist where he discovered that the cancer had spread to his lungs.
Doctors told Steve that because of how much the tumour had grown there was little they could do for him.
Steve said he and his wife Irene, children Stephen, Nicola, Terry and Lisa and six grandchildren were “devastated” at the news.
“I just can’t get past the fact that nothing was done in February, its now seven months on and doctors have told me that there’s nothing they can do. It’s quite a thing when someone tells you you have a year to live.”
But Steve is not going to take the news lying down. He started researching for alternative treatments and began chemotherapy yesterday.
During his research Steve discovered that former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell also suffered from terminal lung cancer and was looking to have specialist treatment in Germany.
In order to see Steve undergo the same treatment, called cancer immunotherapy, which could extend his life by 10 years, his friends are now rallying round to raise £50,000 for it.
“We are not going to stop until he’s got the money,” said friend and fundraiser, Darren Tickle.
Cancer immunotherapy is the “most promising” new treatment approach since the late 1940s, according to Cancer Research Institute.
The pioneering treatment mobilises and strengthens the immune system’s natural ability to destroy cancer cells.
As well as setting up a fundraising page for Steve, his friends are planning a host of walks to raise money including a 90-mile coast to coast walk starting on Boxing Day from Gretna Green to Newcastle.
Lee Dalton, who is a friend of Steve’s and who is one of the organisers, says they are looking for 10 people to take part in the four-day challenge which will see them cover between 25-30 miles each day.
To find out more go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/darren-tickle