The heartbreaking reality of losing both of my parents to cancer

13th November 2019

When Adam lost his dad to pancreatic cancer in 2006, he was completely heartbroken. Suddenly his mum needed to become two parents in one – she was the glue that held the family together. But then their worlds fell apart again when she was diagnosed with cancer too.

Watch Adam's video:

"I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you my story – from one person touched by cancer, to another."

It all started 14 years ago when I was in my final year of university. We did all the things dads and sons do together. We shared a love of the great outdoors, always climbing mountains or bagging munros.

But then, in November 2006, we lost him to pancreatic cancer. I was only 22, Dad – just 54. Suddenly, he was gone. I still want to pick up the phone to talk to him on good days and bad.

"They say one in two people get cancer, for me, it was two."

When Dad died, Mum became two parents in one. At such a difficult time for her, she put her focus into my sister, brother and I  – but never forgot the promises she made to Dad. She went on all the adventures they had planned, lived life to the full. She really was the glue that held us together.

Losing Dad was heartbreaking, but having Mum there kept everyone going – and everyone together. So, when Mum told us she had bowel cancer, our worlds fell apart. Again.

"Not only did I lose my parents, but I also lost my best mates."

Mum passed away in 2015 at our family home. She too missed so many special moments with her family; weddings, grandchildren, and every special Christmas day. Mum and Dad weren’t only my parents, they were my best mates too. I would go to the ends of the earth to have them here, by my side just one last time.

Now I have my own little girl, Skye. I look at her and can’t help but wonder – will I miss her grow up, too? I want to see her graduate, fall in love, see the world. All the things my parents missed.

I want to be by her side long enough, to see her grow into the woman I know she can become. For Mum. For Dad. For Skye.

Adam holding his daughter Skye outside and kissing her on the cheek

"Your donations fund hours in the lab, hours that start new cures for cancer."

Wishes aren’t enough to end cancer and save the lives of the people you love. That’s why I’m supporting Worldwide Cancer Research to find and fund the ideas that start cancer cures. 

By donating to Worldwide Cancer Research, you’re giving researchers more time in the lab so that our families can have more time together. Hours enjoying retail therapy, not chemotherapy, singing to the radio not dreading radiotherapy – laughing around the Christmas table, not lying on the treatment table. For me, that’s money well spent.

Adam's life was turned upside down by cancer. Read his poem:

Click here to enlarge Adam's poem
Adam and his daughter Skye playing in the garden

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