Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lives & Times Meets Ben Richards

One of the first people I approached and photographed for the Lives & Times book was the actor Ben Richards. Ben is in remission from bowel cancer, having been diagnosed in 2012, and was very enthusiastic to get involved.

In the above photo he posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer 2012 Olympic tie, which is now use to support and promote the Follow The Bowel Cancer Tie group on Facebook. You can take a look of what that is about here. I won't reveal too much of what happened when I met Ben here and instead hope you might buy the book and read the chapter instead, because the afternoon turned into a great story in itself with me getting unique access to rehearsals for the Rock of Ages musical that Ben was about to go on tour with. Once again the support for this project never fails to surprise me and every time that I think things couldn't get any better they did!

Thanks so much to Ben for his help and support and I followed up our meeting by going to see Rock of Ages in Oxford on the tour a few months later which was fantastic. Ben is currently playing Sergeant Ben Bradley in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks. Finally congratulations to Ben and Kirsty on the addition last year to their family with the arrival of little Freja-Amelie.

Similar to Ben my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and successfully had surgery to remove a section of her bowel. Unfortunately the cancer had also spread to her left lung and over the last four years she had undergone four more operations to remove nodules from that lung. The most recent operation was in March when she had the lower lob of her left lung removed in an attempt to stop the cancer coming back. Unfortunately last November Mum had a seizure and after tests we discovered that the cancer had also spread to her brain. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment over three consecutive days for the brain cancer, which zapped one of the tumours, but unfortunately the other tumour has not responded and has increased in size. Another seizure six weeks ago put Mum in hospital unable to move her right hand, right leg and badly affected her speech. Sadly the cancer is now terminal and Mum has been moved to a wonderful nursing home in Maidenhead where she can be looked after properly and made comfortable.

I have no intention of stopping my fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer so please take a look at all the fundraising products I am selling on my website.

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