Press release posted 22 May 2024

John Eamonn McCormick, a resilient former cancer patient from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, is celebrating life and giving back to the institution that played a pivotal role in his recovery by embarking on inspirational walking journeys to raise funds for The Christie Charity.

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma just before his 50th birthday, John - who now lives in New Brighton, Merseyside - faced an uncertain future. However, his journey took a surprising turn when he experienced spontaneous remission shortly after his diagnosis. He was then placed on an active monitoring program, visiting hospital for checks every 6 months. This respite lasted for 15 years until late 2017 when his lymphoma resurfaced in a more aggressive form.

There followed a series of unsuccessful treatments including conventional chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and a trial treatment that unfortunately had to be terminated because of his deteriorating health.

“My future looked both brief and bleak,” explained John. “It was at this low point of my life that The Christie appeared on my horizon, and I was fortunate to be accepted on a new early phase combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy drug trial. 

“By this stage I was very poorly, but right from the outset, the care delivered by The Christie filled me with hope, and incredibly within 6 weeks of starting the trial treatment I experienced a good partial remission. Even more incredibly, within 12 weeks my cancer was in retreat!”

John’s immunotherapy trial treatment ran for 2 years until 2022 and he experienced only minor side effects. Since the trial began, John has steadily gained health, strength and confidence and he continues to do so.

In May 2022, to celebrate his newfound health, and to raise funds for The Christie Charity, John walked a 130 km section of The Camino Francés, a medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago in northern Spain. Last year he walked The Camino Finisterre on Spain’s Atlantic Coast and on Saturday 26 May 2024, he will be walking 200km of The Camino Portugués from Porto and aiming to arrive in Santiago on Monday 3 June 2024.

A photo of John Eamonn McCormick, former Christie patient and Christie Charity supporter, on a charity trek.

“I’m hopeful that the monies that I manage to raise will help further The Christie’s world class research programmes and give more cancer patients like me, the opportunity to join a trial treatment suited to their needs,” said John.

“Last year, my wife Jacintha and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with our two sons, Liam and Duncan plus our grandchildren and friends, and in March this year I celebrated my 72nd birthday. These events were only remote possibilities 3 years ago before my introduction to The Christie. There is no doubt that the exceptional care delivered by the staff there, gave me my life back and I shall be forever grateful.”

Lindsey Farthing, Mass Participation Events Development Manager at The Christie Charity said: “John’s remarkable journey of resilience and recovery serves as an inspiration to cancer patients, and we wish him all the very best on his fundraising trek.”

To support the work of The Christie Charity, please go to Donate today or ring 0161 446 3988.

The Christie Charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS is able to fund. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education, and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

Last updated: May 2024