A MAN celebrating being free of cancer for 20 years will this week be visiting the surgeon who spotted he had the illness.
Ian Buchanan, now living in Cheshire, was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 40 when he was living in Kendal back in 1992.
Tomorrow, the 62-year-old is heading to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to shake the hand of consultant surgeon Mr Wyn Morgan, who still helps patients for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust (UHMBT).
Mr Buchanan explained: “He operated on me in September 1992 and then a routine scan in early 1994 resulted in a diagnosis of secondary liver cancer.
“The nature of the diagnosis led Mr Morgan to refer me to Professor James Garden, a liver specialist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he operated on me in March 1994, since when, to date, I have been clear of symptoms.
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“The 20th anniversary of my second operation seemed like a very good reason to do something significant, in particular relating to bowel cancer, both to raise awareness and to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer.”
As a result, Mr Buchanan is planning to cycle between John O’Groats and Land’s End on Sunday June 15 and Thursday July 3.
He explained: “The route from Land's End to John O'Groats will be slightly longer than the standard route, as I will be going via Edinburgh to see Professor Garden.
Mr Buchanan will be doing the ride with a friend from his schooldays, Martin Samman of Kendal.
But first, they will drop in at RLI tomorrow (Wednesday) to meet Mr Morgan, the consultant surgeon who first diagnosed his condition.
The surgeon, who still works in the area, said: “It will be a pleasure to meet up with Mr Buchanan again after all these years and I’m delighted that he has now been cancer free for the past 20 years.
“I wish him every success with his ride and urge people to support the fantastic cause.”
Rachel Thomas, community fundraiser for beating bowel cancer in the North West, said: “We are delighted that Ian and Martin are taking part in this bike ride in aid of the charity in what is a very significant year for Ian.
“Ian is a great supporter of Beating Bowel Cancer and is very keen to highlight the importance of being aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, something which he and Martin hope to boost over the course of the bike ride.”