A MAN who has battled back from bowel cancer has shared his story on national television.
The former mayor of Peterlee John Hardy was treated for bowel cancer at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
He was rushed into hospital after complaining of pains and urgent investigations were followed up by an operation and chemotherapy.
Now, two years on from the start of his health fight, Mr Hardy, 67, is doing well, and in a bid to raise awareness, he has continued his work to support the fight against cancer.
He was invited to be on a programme called Stand Up To Cancer on Channel 4 to speak about his own story.
The event, organised by Cancer Research UK, involved a whole evening of programmes about people across the country who are affected by cancer.
Mr Hardy is now in remission but still had regular check ups with consultant colorectal surgeon David Borowski.
Now, after battling back from his health battle, John has shared his story with millions of people. He said: “I was honoured to be asked to take part.
“When I was first diagnosed with cancer my reaction was not really fear to be honest – I actually just felt down about things and couldn’t understand why it had to be me.
“It didn’t take long for me to change my attitude though and turn things into a positive by raising awareness.
“I’ve done quite a bit of work with Cancer Research UK before and was even invited to speak at their annual general meeting in London.
“I’ve just told them to call me whenever they need me.”
The night of the television programme helped raise more than £14m for Cancer Research. Mr Hardy described it as “an amazing amount of money” and added: “I just feel privileged to have been a part of the night.”
In September 2012, John was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees complaining of a pain in his abdomen, which followed a bout of loose stools for a few weeks.
He had suffered a bowel blockage with perforation, and urgent investigations revealed this was due to a tumour.
He went on have an operation to have the tumour removed, followed by eight treatments of chemotherapy at the University Hospital of Hartlepool over six months.
He has been in remission for a year and a half.