Dad’s incredible tale of survival and parenthood after cancer battle

A dad who had testicular cancer at just 23 and was given a 50/50 chance of survival has revealed how doctors saved his life – and his journey into fatherhood.

Marvin Henshaw was told he might never be able to have children and may not even survive the developed cancer he was battling after his diagnosis in 1994.

However, staff at Weston Park Cancer Centre in Sheffield ensured he still had the rest of his life to enjoy despite his bleak prognosis.

Speaking 26 years on from his devastating diagnosis, Mr Henshaw said: “I was admitted to Weston Park Cancer Centre, where I was given the news that his testicular cancer was quite advanced, with a possibility that it might also have spread to his chest, lungs and liver.

“When you are young you think you are invincible, but the cancer was quite developed. I was told I had a 50/50 chance of survival, and a free 50 per cent chance of living.

Marvin (front left) with his consultant, Professor Rob Coleman (middle) on the 100-mile ‘Tour de South Yorkshire & North Derbyshire’ charity ride for Weston Park Cancer Charity in September 2017

“Mentally the staff gave me the motivation to make the most of every single day and I’m living proof of the success of cancer treatments.”

Strangely enough, Mr Henshaw knew about testicular cancer because one of his friends had recently been diagnosed with it too at the time.

He was forced to cut his holiday in Greece short to battle the disease and went through six to seven months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment to battle cancer which had spread to his chest, lungs and liver.

Mr Henshaw also underwent extensive surgery to remove his testicle and during treatment, he lost a drastic amount of weight and was left sick and weak from the toxic effects of the chemotherapy.

However, he was encouraged by the quality of care and communication from everyone within the hospital and has used his experiences of survival to live life to the full.

“I could have died, but I’ve made a good recovery,” he said. “When people think about a cancer hospital they feel daunted and scared, but the place and people gave me energy and I used my cancer experience to live my life.”

After finishing treatment in 1995 Marvin spent the next few years travelling with his cousin, Craig Hall, who tragically died of testicular cancer in the years after Mr Henshaw’s diagnosis.

He described overcoming that knockback as his “greatest challenge” after the two made plans to travel the world.

Mr Henshaw said: “Craig would set me a goal and we would do it together. We explored the world together so nothing compares to the challenge of losing him.”

In 2006, Mr Henshaw settled down and married his wife of 14 years, Anne and they had three children.

Having worked in the drinks industry all his life, he decided to set up his own business in 2013 and has helped raise thousands of pounds for Weston Park Cancer Charity.

“I’m so thankful to Weston Park Cancer Centre,” he said. “They gave me my life. The treatment created for each patient and the way the facilities and care support a person’s wellbeing and mental state is excellent.”

Weston Park Cancer Charity is delivering free, virtual support to anyone affected by cancer. Call 0114 553 3330 Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm to find out more.


Yorkshire Live – Health