A father from Lincolnshire who lived with brain cancer for six years and defied all doctor expectations to survive, now plans to perform another miracle as he prepares to run the London Marathon.
Ian Davison, 48, from Market Deeping, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and after 15 years of treatment and consistently defying the odds of survival, he is now looking to conquer yet another incredible feat.
He will be running the London Marathon on October 3 to raise money for the event’s official charity of the year, Macmillan Cancer Support. You can donate to his fundraiser here.
Ian’s cancer diagnosis came just after his daughter Amelia was born, and it was followed by six years of surgery, treatment and hospital appointments as the cancer was removed.
Just as it looked as though he was on the right path, it returned in his lung, lymph nodes and small intestines before spreading to his brain.
“At that point I was basically told to get my house in order, that I wouldn’t be here by Christmas” he said. “That was a real low point, but I got my head into gear.
“I just thought there are people who are in a worse position than me. I’m still here, I’m going to fight. It was challenging. I was an emotional rollercoaster but I managed to stay positive.”
Ian continued to run five or six miles each week even through cancer treatment and constant surgeries, proving his steel and determination to tackle one of life’s biggest challenges.
He was asked if he would like to test a new immunotherapy drug as part of the treatment, which he accepted, and it turned out to be the “remarkable” decision that saved his life.
He continues: “At that point my prognosis was just to hope for the best, so I thought what have I got to lose. I had my last dose in August 2011. I noticed bumps that had appeared on my body, in my chest, leg and back disappeared.
“The doctors said my response to the drug was remarkable.”
To put into perspective just how incredible Ian’s survival was, patients with melanoma in the brain like him have a median survival rate of just four months, and 10-20% of people survive a year. Ian is totally cured.
Ian will have his final follow-up appointment this October, some 15 years after his first cancer diagnosis, and to mark the occasion he has decided that the London Marathon is the ideal milestone to signal the end of a gruelling ordeal.
He paid thanks to the charity he will be running in aid of, saying: “Macmillan provided me with some great help and advice, during the toughest period of my illness. The Macmillan nurse was amazing. She went through all the fundamentals, but one of the biggest 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 at the time was amazing, because when you’re ill the last thing you need is money troubles.
“They also helped us with explaining cancer to our daughter Amelia. Being told you have cancer really is like being hit by a cannonball. That’s why I want to run the marathon for Macmillan, to help other people.”