Cancer survivor whose ‘world stopped’ to become a father

A MAN who feared he would not be able to have children after being diagnosed with cancer is looking forward to becoming a father for the first time.

Aston resident Martin Family said his “world stopped” when he was told in 2008 he had lymphoma, a disease which attacks the immune system.

The 31-year-old had to give up his job as a sound engineer as he underwent a course of chemotherapy.

“When I was diagnosed my world stopped and I focused solely on enduring the treatment and getting better,” said Mr Family.

In 2010 he started dating Melissa van der Sande, who he met at Lister Hospital in Stevenage while her sister was also having treatment.

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“Having children is something I never thought would be on the cards for me after chemotherapy treatment,” said Mr Family, who is now engaged to Melissa, 35.

“I was warned that, along with hair loss, it may affect my chances of having children. I was only 26 at the time and it was not the biggest issue in the world then. But I became more worried about it when I met Melissa.”

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Mr Family now has a check up every six months but no longer requires treatment, with the couple expecting a baby boy next month.

He added: “Cancer is a terrible disease and I would rather not have had it. But I am not sure if my life would have been the way it is now, if I had not gone through that experience.

“I know not everybody gets a second chance. I know from experience that when you are going through cancer, hearing something positive gives you a boost. When I got better I had a whole new lease of life and our lives have completely changed – for the better.”

The couple are supporting the launch of Cancer Research UK’s new Give and Gift card which is available to buy online and at selected shops for either �5 or �10.

The gift is a donation that will help save lives – with the option for the recipient to choose to support one of nine different types of research.

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