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“The support has just been incredible” – Richard’s story

Richard Jones tells his story of being diagnosed with cancer and the incredible support he received.

Barnsley FC fan Richard Jones was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer in early 2022. Following 7 weeks of Radiotherapy and surgery he recently received the incredible news that he has been given the all clear.

“Being diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer was terrifying,” said Richard. “I remember walking home from the consultants appointment in complete shock. It was when I told my wife that it really hit me.”

“With it being stage 4 cancer, you think that’s it, you pretty much think it’s game over.”

“I was referred to Weston Park Hospital and saw a consultant there who was so calm and positive it really helped – He was so confident that he’d get me sorted and back to work that I started to feel a little better, his positivity rubbed off on me and I thought, I’ve got to face this head on and just take it each day as it comes.”

Richard was prescribed a course of radiotherapy for seven consecutive weeks at Weston Park, this involved attending the hospital every week day for his treatment.

Following his Radiotherapy he had regular testing for 3 months. During this period Richard began to lose weight and it was discovered that there was cancer in his lymph nodes. He underwent surgery to remove this in February this year and just a few weeks ago was given the all clear – told he was completely cancer free.

“I can’t tell you how that felt – I don’t think I’ve fully taken it in yet – my consultant’s word were ‘Go out and live your life’ and I will.”

Richard says his experience has made him realise how important it is to have support around you when going through a cancer diagnosis.

“My friends and family have been amazing and supported me through everything – I had people offering me lifts to and from the hospital, friends fundraising by organizing football matches and walking the 3 peaks to support me while I couldn’t work and just being there to chat and listen.”

“The support from Weston Park has been incredible too, we came to the support centre and I was amazed at all the things they offer – even just to be able to pop in and sit and have a cup of tea and chat with someone can be just what you need on a tough day and that’s what they’re there for.

I’m lucky enough to have not needed to use things like the transport service they run but I can see how that could be a real lifeline for people.”

Richard is guest of honour at The Together at Every Step game on Tuesday 21st March at Oakwell Stadium.

He says:

“I’m absolutely thrilled, I can’t tell you what it means to me– I don’t think that’s sunk in yet either!

We talk about the community of football but that has kept me going throughout this too. The friends I’ve met through football have supported me incredibly and it’s felt like they’ve really been through it with me, side by side. That’s what it’s all about.”

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