Martin was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in January 2010.
“This all came about from a couple of visits to my GP over the Christmas break - thinking I had a throat infection or tonsillitis. After a couple of different antibiotics and a blood test, I was admitted to York Hospital on 6th January. I then spent just over three months in Ward 31, where I received excellent treatment from all the staff and fantastic support from my family. Family, friends and the hospital staff were my inspiration to beat this lymphoma.
During the three months I underwent four major treatments of chemotherapy, causing me to lose all my hair, lose three stone in weight and go neutropenic, when my white blood cells were reduced to zero! Through this time I never thought negatively but tried all the time to stay focused on recovery.
When the neutropenia was over and my white blood cells were built back up, I managed to come home for a couple of weekend breaks - bliss apart from the Hickman line! Upon completion of the chemotherapy I returned home and rested for two months before I returned to work in the middle of June. My strength had developed but I was still not back to my full strength so during the early months of being back at work I had to pace myself accordingly.
I returned to hospital weekly initially and now attend only six monthly for a consultation. I am delighted to say that down to the support I received, the treatment I received and the positive approach I adopted, I am now back to full fitness and health and I am so grateful to so many for my recovery.
The big test came one month after my discharge from the ward - a bone marrow test. I do not think myself or my wife, Janet, could have been any more nervous. We waited for Dr Howard but on this day his registrar James Bailey came in with the result - "my bone marrow was normal and everything was looking good". James had always been very good with me and the news we both received was the best ever. I think we could have kissed him!
Since April 2010 I have resumed a "normal" life - work, rest and play and getting on with normal family life. In 2012 I, Janet, my son Jonathan and three of his friends joined Sir Ian Botham on one of his walks throughout the UK. Despite the poor weather on the day we all had a great day and were proud to participate in part of the charity walk. It also made me very proud that we raised over £2,200 as a team for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Later in 2012 my son also proposed Janet and myself for a feature on ITV's ‘Surprise Surprise’, where he told my story to millions on the TV. We were very proud of him and his thoughtfulness. Today I consider myself to be very lucky. Such an illness changes your life and puts things in perspective but from my story you can see that there is hope and people are now beating cancer.”