A BRAVE dad has endured gruelling cancer treatment to help him spend his last months with his family.

Mick Stockwell, 51, from North Fambridge, was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, an aggressive cancer of the glandular tissues, in 2013, which has seen him having his tongue cut out.

But the dad-of two is determined to enjoy what could be his last summer with his wife Linda and their two daughters.

Mick only has limited time before he will be reliant on oxygen as the cancer has spread to his lungs.  The family launched a gofundme page to fund a once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip to Scotland to make his bucket list come true.

They have just returned from a successful trip.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

  • Mick on his fishing trip to Scotland

Despite at one point being told he would never speak again, Mick has no self-pity, saying: “I’m glad it’s me rather than any of my family.  “I couldn’t have coped if it was one of the children or Linda – that would have been far worse.”

Just weeks after his diagnosis, Mick underwent a ten-hour surgery at Broomfield Hospital to remove the lump from beneath his tongue.

But he began to experience pain in the same place and in 2016 he was told the tumour had recurred and was of a significant size.

“At that point, I couldn’t believe what I was being told was real”, said Mick.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

  • Mick after his operation in 2016

During another 12-hour op, surgeons had to remove Mick’s tongue – using tissue from his leg to make a new tongue.

Yet, despite warnings that he may never be able to eat normally or speak again, Mick defied doctors’ expectations.

When they installed a voice box, he pulled it out, insisting that he was going to speak – which he eventually did after about seven months.

The family began to throw themselves into fundraising, with Phoebe, Jade and Linda taking part in sponsored races and skydives in aid of Macmillan and Farleigh Hospice.

In June 2017, the family were told the cancer had spread to his lungs and there was no more treatment.  Mick said: “We knew it was bad news when my consultant plastic surgeon burst into tears, telling us she was sorry to say it had spread to my lungs.

“My life expectancy then was about three years.”

The family were determined to make the Scotland trip a reality and launched a gofundme page to raise £2,000.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

  • Mick and family on his 50th birthday

Thanks to generous donations they smashed their target to raise more than £7,000, which they plan to use to make even more memories.

Eldest daughter Jade said: “My dad is such a strong person and that’s the main thing that’s kept us all going through difficult times.

“He never complains – and we are a very, very close family.   “Now it’s just incredibly important to me to bring my dad some joy by making him a grandfather.”

To donate, search for ‘Please help Mick fulfil his bucket list dream’ on gofundme.com.