A Darlington father recently published his first book, after turning to writing to help him come to terms with illness. David Huntley reports

A LYMPHOMA sufferer has written a science fiction novel as a means of helping him cope with the disease.

Jonathan Taylor, 41, from Darlington completed his sci-fi novel, The Forgotten Mission: The Return while undergoing chemotherapy.

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Written over an 18 month period the 130,000-word book has received five star reviews on Amazon and reached the top 70 in the sci-fi charts.

Mr Taylor said: “I used to be a builder, but because I couldn't do that anymore, I decided to finish the book.

"You can relate certain elements of the story to what I was going through in real life.

"The book is a part of a series and I will hopefully be finished the second book within the next six months, it’s well under way at the moment and hopefully I can get it out a lot quicker.”

Mr Taylor still needs regular treatment and is currently in what is known as metabolic remission, meaning the cancer is not currently active, but will probably come back.

He added: “The book was thought up and written as I was going through the cancer treatment.

"I suffered from severe nerve damage from the chemotherapy which left me with crippling pain all over my body and writing the book helped a lot with that.

"Writing takes me to another planet, while going through this horrific stuff you need something to take your mind off it and this has really done it for me.”

As well as writing, Mr Taylor has raised almost £3,000 for the Lymphoma Association and runs the Teesside Lymphoma Support Group, which meets every second Thursday of the month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in the Holistic Centre of the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Mr Taylor, who said his wife and two children have been a huge support since he was diagnosed in June 2012, added: “We hold the meetings not just for Lymphoma sufferers, but for people who really haven’t got a positive way of thinking to enable them to get through these type of situations.

"I set up the group as there wasn’t anything of its kind in the North East and saw an opportunity, so on the back of setting all of that up and writing the book, thankfully it has kept my mind quite occupied.”

The Forgotten Mission: The Return is available on Amazon Kindle for £3.79 or online from theforgottenmission.com