Tommy was diagnosed with bladder cancer just before his 60th birthday. Now, thanks to a Cancer Research UK trial, he’s enjoying playing football with his grandson.

“It was March 2012 when I first noticed some blood in my pee. I decided to go to the doctor the next day to get checked out. He did some tests and decided to send me to the hospital for a scan and a cystoscopy where they use a camera to look at your bladder. The tests showed that I had a tumour in my bladder. The first thing I thought was: ‘What?!’ I was terrified, to begin with, but then I decided I had to just get on with it.

“My treatment involved chemotherapy as well as surgery to remove the tumour. But the cancer had spread into the muscle tissue, so it was worse than they first thought.”

Tommy took part in the TUXEDO clinical trial funded by Cancer Research UK. He remembers: “I decided I’d do it in about 10 seconds.” The trial involved having chemotherapy every week, along with radiotherapy five days a week for seven weeks.

“It was April 2013 when the doctor told me the good news that the treatment had been successful and that my cancer was gone. I was over the moon.

“I knew nothing about clinical trials before I joined one. Now I realise how important they are. They’re needed to test new treatments, new drugs, and new drug combinations. Without them we wouldn’t be able to make any progress; things would just stand still.

“I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to join a clinical trial. I truly believe it’s what’s allowed me to see my grandson Tommy grow up. He’s my little mate. We do everything together. But if it wasn’t for research, I might not have got to see him at all.

“Right now, things are good. I can look forward to the future and to spending more time with my family and little Tommy. And I truly think that’s thanks to research.”

Gifts in Wills fund one-third of our work. Work that supports life-saving trials for people like Tommy.

Last year 7,875 supporters pledged a gift in their Wills to Cancer Research UK and together we’ve helped to double cancer survival in the UK.

But 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime* so more work needs to be done. By pledging a gift in your Will, you’ll help us find new ways to outsmart cancer and bring about a world where everybody lives longer, better lives free from the fear of cancer.

Find out how you can leave a gift in your Will.

* Ahmad A.S. et al. British Journal of Cancer, 2015

TUXEDO clinical trial

Cancer Research UK funded the TUXEDO clinical trial Tommy took part in. This looked at using cetuximab alongside radiotherapy and chemotherapy for invasive bladder cancer (cancer that has grown into the muscle layer). The trial showed that this combination of treatments was safe to use and could be a useful treatment for invasive bladder cancer, meaning more people will survive this cancer in the future.

Learn more: click here