Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Liam Griffiths, 31, has a long list of things he wants to do before he dies (Picture: Liam Griffiths/SWNS)

A man who tried to ‘man up’ and ignore symptoms like cramps, vomiting and stomach swelling has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Liam Griffiths, 31, decided to avoid making a fuss when the symptoms started in March because he was self-employed and needed the money.

He eventually went to hospital and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease then bowel cancer.

Following surgery Liam was told by doctors the cancer was terminal.

The former oil rig worker from Middlesbrough is now encouraging people to seek help if they notice something wrong.

‘Not getting checked sooner is the biggest mistake I’ve ever made,’ Liam said.

‘I did what I thought a man needed to do. I was manning up.

‘They found my cancer at stage three advanced – but if I had just gone to see the doctors earlier maybe they could have caught it.

Liam in hospital following his terminal cancer diagnosis (Picture: Liam Griffiths/SWNS)

Liam started suffering with stomach swelling, chronic constipation, cramps and vomiting in March (Picture: Liam Griffiths/SWNS)

Liam recalled the moment he was given the cancer diagnosis.

‘As soon as they said for me to bring my mum, Susan, I knew,’ he said.

‘I don’t even remember the hospital trip – I’ve just blocked the trauma out.

‘I remember I asked what my life span would look like and my doctor said he doesn’t want to give me a timeframe of when my life could end, because he doesn’t want me to focus my whole life around it.

‘I agreed and just decided I wanted to get home, fulfil some wishes and just live my life while I can.

Liam before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer (Picture: Liam Griffiths/SWNS)

Liam said he was fit and healthy before getting cancer (Picture: Liam Griffiths/SWNS)

‘There were things on my bucket list I would have liked to have do, like going skiing, doing Tough Mudder and swimming with sharks.

‘But now I have to choose things that let me sit down, as I won’t physically be able to do things I originally wanted to. I think my mum wants to plan a train trip.’

Liam also dreams of driving the North Coast 500 in Scotland with his dad, Peter.

He said: ‘I just want to make sure we have those key memories together before I maybe have to go.

‘Even with Christmas coming up, I used to love Christmas shopping, but I’m not getting any enjoyment out of that anymore. It’s killed everything for me.

‘Physically I’m a fragile man, I’m a shadow of who I was.

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‘I was the healthiest man in the world. I trained every single day, but now I can’t even walk up the stairs without breaking a sweat.

‘I am literally living the worst type of life I could have ever imagined. It’s horrible.

‘Mentally it’s taken it out of me. Physically it’s taken it out of me.’

Liam is now paying for private treatment because his chemotherapy on the NHS no longer works.

A JustGiving page has been set up by his friend Eve Bannatyne – daughter of Duncan Bannatyne – and it has raised £18,000.

Eve said: ‘He is bravely battling terminal cancer at just the age of 31 and we urgently need support to access medicine to ease his pain and hopefully prolong his life.

‘Liam has shown incredible strength and resilience throughout this challenging journey and has the biggest heart. He doesn’t deserve to go through any of this.

‘Every donation, no matter how small, can make a world of difference.’

You can donate to Liam’s JustGiving page here.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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