Nick Whitehead, 58 from Woodham survived stage three of lung cancer after part of his lung was removed and continues to pursue his passion for diving.
The 58-year-old underwent chemotherapy and half of his left lung was removed after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
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He is currently training to qualify as a rescue diver and still enjoys diving.
Nick said: “I had half of my left lung removed in a six and a half hour operation and doctors said it was unlikely I would be able to dive again.
“I was desperate to get back into it. I just thought I had a life to live and this won’t stop me.”
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The diver convinced doctors he was healthy enough to dive again and was back in the water less than 12 months after diagnosis.
He said, “I just wanted to get back to life and I’ve been lucky enough to survive this, so I wanted to keep enjoying my passion for diving.”
Nick supports the Do it For Yourself campaign which aims to raise awareness about the symptoms of lung cancer in Tyne and Wear.
The campaign highlights the symptoms of lung cancer – symptoms similar to Covid-19.
He added: “I had a persistent cough for over 12 months and very bad night sweats, looking back I wish I had gone to my GP and found it sooner.
“Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK so it’s so important to get yourself checked as it can be too late for some people.”
The Do it For Yourself campaign has been launched by Merck & Co (MSD) to encourage the people of Tyne and Wear not to wait too long and contact their GP if they have been coughing for three weeks or more.
Paula Chadwick, Chief Executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation said: “It is important that we remember that not every cough is a Covid cough and that local communities and GPs are working together to encourage patients to contact them to discuss health concerns. discuss – otherwise we risk undoing much of the progress made over the past decade.”