Real Stories
27 May 2024

A Community Fundraising success for Henry!

Giving back to a charity that has supported Henry and his family.

Cancer Care 331
Real Stories
27 May 2024

In 2019, Henry Clark and his wife decided to start learning some new skills so enrolled on a barbering course. Whilst doing this his wife noticed he had a large mole on his neck that had previously been a freckle. Henry was urged to get this checked out at the doctors, which then lead to his diagnosis of Melanoma. Henry had spoke with us at CancerCare but decided not to receive any support offered at this time.

Henry then had 4 surgeries over the course of the next 18 months to remove affected tissue around the area as well as ease some of his painful scars.

On 23rd December, just before Christmas, Henry was informed that the cancer had returned at stage 3, and had spread to his lymph nodes. Henry underwent a huge reconstructive procedure and a skin graft. As Henry already had an existing tattoo on his arm, he has now ended up with a snake head on his neck, and a headless snake tattoo on his arm! This has become a source of humour for Henry to have this new variation on his tattoo.

Having felt overwhelmed with the affect his cancer journey was having on him, and whilst undergoing oral chemotherapy treatment, Henry got in touch with us at CancerCare looking for some support. We were able to provide Henry with some complementary counselling with Helen, who Henry developed a strong connection with, and it was a space for him to talk freely about his worries and concerns.

“When we first learned about it, it took us by surprise. You naturally associate cancer with death. I spent 4 weeks whilst waiting for surgery googling survival rates, but that was just my reaction to it."

CancerCare offered support to Henry, his wife, his children and other family members, as we know that a cancer diagnosis affects family, and friends as well. Once Henry was cancer free, healed enough physically and discharged from treatment, he decided he wanted to pay something back to CancerCare. We were so thrilled when Henry got in touch to say he was going to climb Mount Snowdown with some friends and colleagues to raise money for us. They did the climb in the pouring rain and smashed their target, raising an amazing £1,400 (including GiftAid).

However, on the way home from Snowdon, as Henry described as a 'cruel twist of irony', he received a phone call confirming news they had so hoped not to receive; his wife has now been diagnosed with cancer also.

We were amazed (and very thankful) by Henry’s bravery when he decided he wanted to speak at our 40th Anniversary Ball in March, and he gave a very moving speech to a room of 150 supporters.

During his speech, Henry said: “You think your journey with cancer is over, but then something happens and now my wife has a cancer diagnosis which is just terrible as she will now have to have some surgery and undergo some lifestyle changes too. Already people from CancerCare have reached out with their support for us which is amazing.”

Thank you Henry. By fundraising, CancerCare can continue to support more people affected by cancer or bereavement.

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