By ANNA HODGEKISS
From the moment he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, Huw Allanson had feared his dream of becoming a father would never come true.
Having battled testicular cancer twice – losing his left testicle and having nine rounds of chemotherapy in the process – he was told his chances of becoming a father were just five per cent.
But this year, he’s had more to celebrate than most. Incredibly, just a week before he and his fiancé Lizi, 32, were due to start IVF, they discovered they had managed to conceive naturally and their son Ryan was born in in April this year.
‘It has been an amazing year,’ Huw, 27, told MailOnline. ‘One of my biggest ambitions in life was to have a family, but I was always concerned it would never happen.’
Huw was just 18 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After noticing a lump on his left testicle, he was referred to a specialist for an ultrasound test which confirmed the lump was cancerous and his testicle would need to be removed.
He said: ‘I have always wanted to be a dad but there wasn’t much time to think about everything at the time – I was diagnosed on the Friday and had surgery on the Monday. Afterwards, I went away, assuming that was it and tried to get on with my life.'
Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Just three months later, he received the devastating news the cancer was back – and, even worse, had spread to his stomach. 'It was terrifying to be told it had come back and I was pretty scared,' said Huw.
To battle the cancer, Huw needed nine gruelling rounds of intensive chemotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital.
Martin Ledwick, Head of the Cancer Research UK Information Nurse team said: ‘It is great reading about Huw’s story. It’s not inevitable that testicular cancer patients will lose their fertility and even if they do it can come back.
'It is also good to talk to the doctor about the possibility of sperm banking before treatment starts. We have information about all aspects of testicular cancer on our website. Or if anyone has questions about any aspect of cancer and its treatment they can call Cancer Research UK’s nurses on 0808 800 4040.’
Huw is taking part in Cancer Research UK’s new brand campaign which highlights the power of research in beating cancer. Visit cruk.org