An inspirational member of Ysbyty Gwynedd’s cleaning team who won his battle against cancer, is now raising awareness of the disease to help others.
Marc Mcmorran, 57, who works as a deep clean operative at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, and other hospitals in the county, was diagnosed with High Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in June 2010.
Lymphoma is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK. It can occur at any age, even in children. The disease occurs when lymphocytes (white blood cells that help fight infection) become out of control. They divide in an abnormal way or do not die when they should.
Describing his symptoms before receiving his diagnosis, Marc said: “I have been feeling a bit run down for a few months, I was tired, lethargic, losing weight for no reason.
“It was in June 2010 that I was watching television with my boyfriend when I noticed a lump on my arm.
“I thought nothing of it but my boyfriend, Joseph, insisted I went back home to North Wales early to see my GP. It was the following Monday I received an urgent referral to Ysbyty Gwynedd.”
Marc, who is from Llanddona on Anglesey, was admitted to Alaw Ward at Ysbyty Gwynedd in October 2010 and spent almost four months in the cancer unit.
“I had four intensive cycles of chemotherapy which felt like I was walking through fire, I lost all my hair within four days and had to undergo daily blood tests, regular blood transfusions and I had no appetite for a number of weeks in isolation with not many visitors. It was really tough but I knew I had to do it to get better.
“My stay there was made easier by the wonderful nurses who cared for me, they are all heroes. They put up with my stress, anger, mood swings and were all just amazing,” he added.
After undergoing chemotherapy for the disease on Alaw Ward, radiotherapy at Glan Clwyd Hospital and also the Christie Hospital in Manchester for almost six years, Marc was given the all clear on April 6, 2016 and decided to use his experience to help others who have been diagnosed with Lymphoma.
Marc said: “When I was first diagnosed with Lymphoma I had no idea what it was. I think I’d heard the name of it but it meant nothing to me.
“Since I was given the all clear I thought a lot more needed to be done to raise awareness of the disease.
“I have been heavily involved with Lymphoma Action and have written a number of articles for their website and magazine and also made two films talking about the disease.
“I’ve also supported Macmillan Cancer, who were amazingly supportive of me when I did a presentation in the Houses of Parliament with a group of MPs in a Q&A session.
“I will continue to support any cancer charity I can, I want people to know that cancer is not a death sentence, a lot of cancer is beatable.
“I want to reach out to people who may be concerned with some of the symptoms they are experiencing and to urge them to speak to their GP as soon as possible, it may be nothing to worry about it, but it’s always best to get it checked out.”
Marc, who has been nominated for the ‘Excellence in Leadership’ Award at this year’s Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Achievement Awards, says he is immensely proud to work for the NHS.
He said: “I owe my life to some amazing people working at Ysbyty Gwynedd, North Wales Cancer Centre at Glan Clwyd Hospital and also the Christie in Manchester.
“There are so many positive things going on in our NHS and I feel very proud to be part of the family.”
For further information visit www.lymphoma-action.org.uk
Marc Mcmorran, who received the all clear in 2016 after his six year battle again cancer. Main photo (top) Marc with his colleague Jonathon Burgess at Ysbyty Gwynedd.