Dan’s Story


“Dan started getting some pains before and after using the loo about a year ago, he didn’t think anything of it, as it would come and go.

Then it started getting more regular, so he went to the doctor. Dan was referred for an Ultrasound and then we received a letter for him to go into General Surgery, all of this took several weeks, during which time his pain was increasing. When he went in, they told him they found a tumour and said he would need to have a colonoscopy to confirm it and find out whether it was cancerous or not.

We were in complete shock, he was 36 and otherwise had been a very healthy and active man, running his own Food Truck Business, playing football and being a hands-on Dad to his son, 4, and his daughter 2.

His pain was quickly getting worse, and he ended up in A & E and admitted to hospital to manage the pain. They did the colonoscopy and was in hospital for our son’s 4th Birthday. The day after, we found out it was Cancer and our lives forever changed.

Dan had to take morphine everyday which even then didn’t get rid of the pain he was in. Further tests and an official diagnosis were given – about 2 months after the pain had started. The way it was progressing was intense and he immediately had to stop working and focus on his health. I became a fulltime carer to him and the kids, which was incredibly hard in itself. He was stage 4 and it had spread to his peritoneum. Upon tests he was told surgery was not an option – basically see ya later, you’re going to die. Which is extremely hard to accept when you are 36, with a partner and young kids and a whole long lifetime to look forward too.

We were determined he would be one of the small percentage of people who beat stage 4 Bowel Cancer. However, the universe had other ideas. As Dans pain increased he went in for another scan & they found he was blocked, despite him still passing stools. They told him he had to have major surgery, or he could die (sooner than they had already told him he’d die).

That day I became a Solo Mum because he was unable to help me with the kids anymore and was in and out of hospital and hospice for the last 3 months of his life. He got sepsis from the Ileostomy he had, and he just never recovered. We held out hope and tried to raise money for him to go to a Cancer Centre in Mexico since the medical system wouldn’t offer anything for us. We had booked a trip for him to go back to the UK to visit Family and friends, which we had to cancel. He fought as hard as he could, he tried everything he could within our financial means, but with ongoing bleeding and complications we realised a few weeks before he passed away that he wasn’t going to make it.

He never once complained of having Cancer. He was only worried about me and the kids and not seeing his kids grow up. He passed away one day after his 37th Birthday. Now two little kids don’t have their Daddy. This is not how it should be.”

As told by Dan’s wife, Sarah.