A terminally-ill man is urging other people to be on the look-out for early signs of cancer.
Lee Hall says he has been given a new outlook on life after doctors revealed his cancer is being kept at bay after being told a year ago that he may have just six months to live.
The cancer, which started in a mole on his back, spread to his ribs, spine, shoulder and legs, as well as his liver and lungs.
The 44-year-old was told he probably had less than six months to live and thought Christmas 2014 would be his last. He decided to dedicate his final months raising cash for South Shields-based charity Cancer Connections – which has helped him – but, thanks to regular immunotherapy treatment – a form of chemotherapy – he has been told his cancer had shrunk everywhere.
A fortnight ago Mr Hall, who lives with wife Heather in Blenheim Walk, South Shields, was told that his tumours had showed no signs of growth and there are even signs of his bones healing.
Mr Hall says anyone who finds a suspicious mole should get it checked out by their GP.
We celebrated last Christmas like it was my last.Lee Hall
He said: “After I received the news that my cancer was stage four, we celebrated that Christmas like it would be my last. But here I am a year on.
“The doctor who delivered the diagnosis also gave me a DS1500 medical form. These are only given to people who have less than six months to live, so I didn’t think I had all that long left.
“But my treatment has been working really well, I’ve been receiving it every three weeks, and the scan I had in October showed that the cancer had shrunk everywhere.
“Then the scan I had a fortnight ago showed no growth and signs of the bones healing themselves. It’s really good news as it means the treatments definitely working.”
He added: “I can’t stress how important it is for people to go and get any moles they’re unsure about checked out. It takes only a few moments and it could save their life.”
Lee first discovered the cancerous mole in March 2012 and two operations appeared to have been successful.
However, in October 2014, the former taxi driver was told the cancer was back, it had spread. and this time it was terminal.
Despite his prognosis Lee, a stepfather to Amy, 26, and Barry, 24, then went on to raise £2,500 for Cancer Connections in the charity’s summer Faith Hope and Love 24-hour relay.
He then generated another £1,000 by donning a pair of thigh-high boots and completing in a sponsored walk along King Street, South Shields.
Along with his wife, and pals Malcolm Williams and Paul Thompson, the group also raised a further £1,000 by taking part in the Boxing Day Dip.
And in June, Lee has managed to convince 19 other people to do a sky dive with him – where he hopes to raise about £8,000 for the charity.
He said: “I’m already planning next year’s events with the sky dive and I’ve even managed to rope another 19 people in.
“I don’t think people understand how much Cancer Connections helps people, it’s been a massive support for me and I want to be able to raise as much as I can.”
To sponsor Lee for his sky dive, visit www.justgiving.com/lee-hall12/