A Lincolnshire dad who lived with brain cancer for six years and defied doctors’ expectations to survive, now plans to perform another miracle as he prepares to run the London Marathon.
Ian Davison, 48, of Market Deeping, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and after 15 years of treatment and consistently defying the odds of survival, he’s now looking to conquer another incredible feat.
He will compete in the London Marathon on October 3 to raise money for the official charity of the year, Macmillan Cancer Support. You can donate to her fundraiser here.
Ian’s cancer diagnosis came right after the birth of his daughter Amelia, and it was followed by six years of surgery, treatment, and hospital appointments while the cancer was removed.
Just as it seemed to be on the right track, it returned to his lungs, lymph nodes, and small intestine before spreading to his brain.
“At that point, I was basically told to put my house in order, that I wouldn’t be here by Christmas,” he said. “It was really a low point, but I got my head going.
“I just thought there were people who were in a worse situation than me. I am still here, I will fight. It was hard. I was an emotional roller coaster but managed to stay positive.
Ian continued to run five or six miles every week, even during cancer treatment and constant surgeries, proving his steel and determination to tackle one of life’s greatest challenges.
He was asked if he wanted to test a new immunotherapy drug as part of the treatment, which he agreed to, and it turned out that it was the “remarkable” decision that saved his life.
He continues, “At that point my prognosis was just to hope for the best, so I thought about what I had to lose. I had my last dose in August 2011. I noticed that bumps had appeared on my body, in my chest, my leg and my back were gone.
“The doctors said my response to the drug was remarkable. “
To put Ian’s survival in perspective, brain melanoma patients like him have a median survival rate of just four months, and 10-20% of people survive one year. Ian is totally healed.
Ian will have his last follow-up appointment in October, some 15 years after his first cancer diagnosis, and to mark the occasion he has decided that the London Marathon is the perfect stopover to mark the end of an event exhausting.
He thanked the charity he will support, saying: “Macmillan has provided me with invaluable help and advice during the most difficult time of my illness. Nurse Macmillan was amazing. She went through all the fundamentals, but one of the most important things she did was tell us about critical illness insurance.
“It meant we could pay off our mortgage, which made a huge difference. That money back then was amazing, because when you’re sick the last thing you need is money.
“They also helped us explain cancer to our daughter Amelia. Being told you have cancer is really like being hit by a cannonball. That’s why I want to run the Marathon for Macmillan, to help others.