He was diagnosed with Melanoma in 2011 and the cancer returned eight years later.
Sean Guinness, 60, of Harrogate, was diagnosed with melanoma in 2011 but eight years later, cancer returned to his liver and intestine.
As he prepares to accompany his daughter down the aisle, he recalls the time when he was given only eight months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, he declared himself "cancer-free" after completing immunotherapy. "There are no words," he said, to express his gratitude.
He told BBC News, "When I was really ill, Amelia wanted me to write a letter that could be read out on her wedding day. I feel blessed that I will now be there for her."
A father given just eight months to live in 2019 says he feels "like the luckiest man" as he prepares to walk his daughter down the aisle.https://t.co/BTXXUYuaMk— BBC Yorkshire (@BBCLookNorth) July 4, 2022
Guinness, who is also Theo's father, claimed his health issues began when he saw a mole on his thigh was bleeding. He was diagnosed with Stage 1A melanoma, which required a little surgery to remove. He was informed of the chances of it returning were "very small," so he went on with his business. In 2019, however, he began to have stomach discomfort and tests revealed that the disease had returned and spread.
He had surgery to remove a portion of his small intestine, but three weeks later he got grave news. He said, "My surgeon told me the very dramatic and scary news that I had eight months to live." His bereaved daughter, Amelia, 28, even urged him to "write a letter" that she might read at his funeral if he died suddenly. Despite his severe circumstances, doctors did not abandon him.
He was then advised to undergo immunotherapy and was given medications such as nivolumab and ipilimumab to assist his immune system in locating and killing cancer cells. Within months, tests revealed that the disease was receding, and four years later, physicians diagnosed him "cancer clear" earlier this year. Guinness is now planning to fulfill his middle-aged "dream" of giving his daughter away during her wedding in August, with services in the United Kingdom and Spain, per Wales Online.
Guinness is currently a part of a research program at the University of Oxford looking at the origins and treatment of melanoma. He said, "I feel like the luckiest man in the world. I don’t want to win anything. I don’t want to win the pools. I don’t want to win the lottery - I feel like I’ve won the lottery many times over."
He expressed his joy in being a part of his daughter's marriage, "I’m very close to my daughter, and to be able to walk her down the aisle and to give her away on her wedding day - it’s the things that you dream of in middle age." He further added, "I’m a reasonably articulate person, but the words that I can use seem quite feeble compared to the emotions that I feel. I’m grateful to everyone who has got me this far."
Guinness is a "fantastic advocate" for improved diagnostics and patient engagement, according to Mark Middleton, a melanoma oncologist at Oxford University. Guinness' friends have also contributed to the initiative, with one group doing a sponsored cycling trip through France to generate funds.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Roberto Westbrook