Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Cancer patient plans to help others with book full of stories of hope

Kevin Donaghy wants to help fellow cancer patients with his book of Stories of Hope (Kevin Donaghy/PA)
Kevin Donaghy wants to help fellow cancer patients with his book of Stories of Hope (Kevin Donaghy/PA)

A businessman living with incurable cancer is working on  a new book which he plans to give free to others with the disease.

Kevin Donaghy, from the Scottish borders,  is putting together the Book of Hope in a bid to show those who have been diagnosed with cancer that they are not alone in the challenges they face.

It comes more than four years after he was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, in May 2018.

He was given the all clear after treatment, but 18 months later he was in A&E with agonising back pain and was devastated to to be told the cancer had returned.

Two tumours were discovered on his lung and next to his spine, and his cancer was now stage 4.

But Mr Donaghy, who is now an ambassador with skin cancer charity Melanoma UK, said sharing his story with others had allowed him to “find my hope”.

And he wants the book he is working on to help do that for others.

He said: I know the impact a cancer diagnosis had on myself, as well as others, and the toll it takes on our mental health.

“I had made the decision to go to hospital on my own , without my wife, which was the worst possible thing I could have done.

“The oncologist was very softly spoken and extremely polite, but when the hammer blow fell and he told me of the diagnosis, I was enveloped in darkness.

“I then decided I wanted some form of control, so that even though I may have cancer, it wouldn’t define me.

“So I went out and shared my story with others, and I was fortunate to find my hope, in a very unexpected place.

“This made me want to return the favour and share the stories of others ­– patients, relatives, friends, cancer professionals and cancer charities ­– which would touch on the various themes of hope, and in turn give hope to those reading the book.”

Kevin Donaghy
Kevin Donaghy (centre) is being supported in the project by Ricky Nicol (right) and Gill Nuttall of Melanoma UK (Kevin Donaghy/PA)

He has so far gathered 20 “Stories of Hope” for the book, either from the charity or from personal introductions.

Among them is Ricky Nicol, founder and deputy chairman of  Edinburgh-based business Commsworld, which is donating £6,000 to the project.

Mr Nicol, who  recovered from throat cancer after being diagnosed 17 years ago, said: “What Kevin is doing is so inspirational.

“I am delighted to contribute my own story to his book, and Commsworld are also delighted to be providing the funds for it to be published.

“His book is really important, and could be life-changing for those who read it.”

Mr Donaghy wants to make the book available free of charge to more than 1,000 people who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, with copies being distributed via  Melanoma UK and hopefully other cancer charities.

He wants to have as many as 35 personal stories in the book  and is urging anyone suffering from cancer who wants to share their experience to email him at storiesofhopeandcancer@gmail.com.

“Contributors’ stories  will not be shared without their written consent,” Mr Donaghy said

But he added: “I hope that once the book is published, it will provide people with the opportunity to feel the love and support of others through the story of their own personal journeys.”

Gill Nuttall, chief executive of Melanoma UK, said: “At Melanoma UK we are very focused on the needs of the people that we support who have been diagnosed with melanoma cancer.

“Being able to send people copies of this book free of charge will help them and their families understand that they are not alone and that there is definitely hope.”