Courageous Colne dad (31) determined to beat rare form of cancer

An "inspirational" Colne dad who has bravely fought health problems throughout his life has made a heart-wrenching video after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:13 pm

Neil Grimes (31) was told by doctors he may only have six months left to live if chemotherapy treatment, which he started this week, doesn't work against his neuroendecrine cancer.

It is the latest blow to Neil who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was just eight-year-old, which led to his bowel being removed and a colostomy bag fitted. The father-of-one also fought skin cancer in June 2019 after his wife discovered an unusual mole on their honeymoon.

Neil's proud sister Victoria Ryan, from Barrowford, described him as "inspirational" and said his positivity was uplifting for everyone who knows him.

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Neil, with wife Ella and son Owen

Victoria said: "Neil has faced so much in his life already, it just doesn't seem fair. Despite all he has gone through, he is the kindest, bravest, most positive man you will ever meet. He is going to fight this with all his might.

"After the latest diagnosis Neil started to make videos and vlogs to document his journey and inspire other people and raise awareness. His latest video is very raw and real."

Victoria went on to explain how the coronavirus pandemic had created difficulties in discovering Neil's latest diagnosis.

"In October last year he kept passing out after experiencing severe pain. The doctors thought it might be connected to his colitis and they were reluctant to keep him in hospital because he was classed as high risk of coronavirus because of his conditions.

"The stoma bag was reversed after a few years and he was given a fake pouch (bowel). The doctors believed this was inflamed and giving him all the pain before they started doing the scans and investigations to later find out it was cancer.

"A CT scan showed that he had cancer in his gall bladder, which was removed in February. Then, a few weeks ago, biopsies revealed a rare form of cancer called neuroendecrine cancer. The pandemic has been cruel in other ways, too, because it's also meant we haven't been able to visit him properly during his treatment.

"We as a family are all in shock. It's a lot to take in. Despite all this, Neil is still very upbeat. We will know in six weeks whether it is helping and whether it can be continued to prolong his life."

Sadly, after all his scans last week, Neil has been told that the cancer is at stage four and has now spread to his spine and bones.

Victoria revealed that the keen Clarets fan is desperate to take wife Ella (26) and four-year-old son Owen on Turf Moor as soon as he can.

Neil's friend Lee Hampton has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Neil to care for his family while he is taking time off work from his job at BT to allow for his treatment. Other friends are also fund-raising for the family.