Cancer survivor gives £3,000 to hospital that saved his life

The Bolton News: David Aspinall, left, with wife Sue and Professor Robert Hawkins David Aspinall, left, with wife Sue and Professor Robert Hawkins

A CANCER survivor has donated £3,000 to the hospital that treated him to say thank you for saving his life.

David Aspinall, aged 70, from Bromley Cross, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer in 2005.

He underwent surgery to remove the tumour, which had spread to the large vein outside of his kidney, but then recovered well.

The former art and design teacher, who has been married to wife Sue for 45 years this year, said: “It was certainly a shock at the time and obviously it’s something no one wants to hear, but I took it in my stride and focused on the fact I was being very well looked after.

“That’s why I try to give as much as I can to help the cause. Thanks to the cancer experts who have cared for me, I’m still here, almost 10 years later.”

In 2007 a further four tumours were found on Mr Aspinall’s liver and gut. He took part in a clinical trial and is now on the drug Sutent to keep the cancer under control.

He said: “Three of the tumours have gone and I hope the remaining tumour will one day go completely too, but until that happens I continue to receive the very best of care. I can’t praise The Christie enough for everything they’ve done for me.”

Mrs Aspinall, aged 69, who met David at art college and who is also a retired teacher, said: “Staff at The Christie have been excellent in every way possible, in fact better than excellent. They talk to you as people, not just another patient. They really take into consideration the needs of the whole family.

“These past 10 years have certainly had their ups and downs but sometimes going through things like this makes you stronger and makes you appreciate every day that bit more.

“I hope our efforts will make a difference to others and will contribute, even in a small way, to beating cancer once and for all.”

Mr and Mrs Aspinall have been raising money for The Christie ever since his diagnosis.

They have donated thousands over the years by asking friends and family for money in place of presents at birthdays and Christmas.

This latest donation of £3,000 will fund a cell culture incubator, a vital piece of equipment used in cancer research.

The money was part of a legacy left to the couple by a neighbour.

Professor Robert Hawk-ins, David’s consultant at The Christie and Professor at The University of Manchester, both part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre along with Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s been fantastic getting to know David and Sue over the past few years.

“I’m pleased at how well David has responded to treatment.

“We’re incredibly grateful to them both for their continued generosity.”

Professor Hawkins’ res-earch aims at developing a new form of treatment for cancer known as ‘adoptive cell therapy’ which uses patients’ immune cells to treat their cancer.

He added: “The ability to grow these cells in specialised incubators is vital to testing this approach in the laboratory before testing clinically.”

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