CC Day 15 – Guest Post by Aleisha and Thomas Gray

Cancer is something you hear about daily however; you never believe it will affect you. We are all familiar with the main types of Cancers, but like most people Cholangiocarcinoma is one that has very little awareness.

In October 2013 we were hit with the devastating news that our Dad, James William Gray, had been diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. As a family we all tried to stay positive and support Dad as much as we could. Unfortunately, a mere 3 months from the diagnosis Dad lost his battle, aged only 52.

In the 3 months Dad battled with his Cancer, we had various hopes that he may be able to have the operation to try and remove the tumour. However, every time we felt as though we got one step forward we took 3 steps back. Cholangiocarcinoma was engulfing Dad’s body and there was nothing we could do to stop it, feeling helpless is an understatement!

To see the strong, charismatic, intelligent man we looked up to all our lives become extremely fragile and vulnerable was one of the most painful experiences we have ever felt and continue to feel to this day.

We cannot bring Dad back but what we can do is help the fight back against this disease by raising awareness and donations for AMMF. May 2014 saw the first Jimmy Gray Memorial Day which first began as a football tournament but has now grown and gone on to raise a staggering £20,000 in two years. None of this could have been achieved without so many people’s time, kindness and efforts especially John Munday, Dad’s best friend and organiser of the day, who we cannot thank enough.

Dad will always be sorely missed by family and friends and is forever in our thoughts.

Thomas and Aleisha with their Dad, James