Chichester cancer patient launches Christmas appeal

John Conder and mascot Maude.  C121687-1
John Conder and mascot Maude. C121687-1

A VETERAN battling cancer for the fifth time is asking shoppers to put a new Give & Gift card at the top of their Christmas lists.

John Conder, from Chichester, donned a Santa hat and posed with a giant version of the new Cancer Research UK Give & Gift card during a launch at the charity’s store in South Street.

John, 77, who served in the Royal Navy for 42 years before retiring, said: “I’m honoured to help launch the new Cancer Research UK Give & Gift card. It’s a great Christmas present idea, especially for people whose lives have been touched by cancer, like mine.”

The gift is a donation with the option for the recipient to choose the type of research they most want to support, including studies into breast, brain, lung and pancreatic cancers.

John is currently in treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) – his fifth battle with the disease.

He was first diagnosed with NHL in 1997. He had prostate cancer in 2000, the NHL returned in 2002 and again in 2007.

He was offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial run by Cancer Research UK, testing a new drug using antibody treatment rather than chemotherapy.

“My cancer had come back for the third time so we were really running out of options,” said John.

“Once I’d started on the trial I was surprised at how quickly the new drug began working.

“I was tired at the time but within two weeks I began feeling much better and my aches and pains had almost gone. I feel very fortunate to have taken part in the trial.”

John’s cancer returned again six weeks ago and he is now facing radiotherapy treatment. But he is resolute about it.

“Apart from the lymphoma I’m glad to say I’m hale and hearty,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for the treatment I’ve had – and continue to have. Cancer Research UK’s work is at the heart of the progress that has been made.”

John’s wife Susan said: “We’d like to encourage people to buy the new Give & Gift card this Christmas. It’s an innovative way to show you care.”

For more information on Cancer Research UK’s Give & Gift cards visit cruk.org/give-and-gift or pop into a Cancer Research UK shop.