Denton Wilson was 42-years-old when his doctor told him he had just eight weeks to live.
Mr Wilson, of Woodseats, had been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer - the same disease he’d watched kill his father weeks earlier.
“It was watching my father die at the hands of this disease that pushed me to get checked myself,” Mr Wilson told The Star. “I had no idea what I thought was a routine check, would essentially lead to my death sentence.”
But rather than accept the doctor’s grim prediction, Mr Wilson proceeded to overhaul his life, changing his diet and beginning to exercise regularly - throughout his chemotherapy and radiation treatments - in an attempt to ‘rescue’ his body.
18 years later, he says his cancer - of which he is now free and clear - gave him a second lease of life.
“That diagnosis woke me up,” the 60-year-old revealed.
“There was a time when I just wanted to put my head down and die, but I had to believe there was a reason I watched my dad go through what he did, and that it was to save my life.
“I got involved with nutrition to build my body and immune system up and began training alongside my treatments. I’m living proof that eating right and exercising are key to good health - I have young guys, half my age, who can’t keep up with me now!”
Mr Wilson was one of a number of speakers at an event called Active Everyday held in Sheffield, to encourage those suffering with cancer to stay physically active.
The event brought together health and social professionals, leisure providers, community organisations and cancer survivors from across the city in a bid to support those fighting a battle for their health every day.
Project lead Lindsay Reece said: “More people than ever before are affected by cancer, with many experiencing long lasting effects such as fatigue, weight changes and depression. Leading a physically active lifestyle has many benefits, both physically and emotionally, yet many people are unsure how to get started. This is where Macmillan Active Every Day comes in.
“The hope is that this pilot programe will empower people affected by cancer to become active and, most importantly, stay active.”
Dot Kesterton, 63, of Bents Green, also spoke of her experiences at the event, after a routine mammogram last year revealed she had ductal carcinoma in situ.
“I went through the stages of grieving when I found out - numb, anger, denial,” she told The Star. “I thought the doctor must be talking to someone else. I imagine that’s how most of us feel . But I made my mind up early on that the cancer wasn’t going to take any more from me than it had to. I’ve always loved to run and am a very active person and I kept my activity levels up as much as I could throughout my treatments.”
Dot had surgery twice to remove the tumour, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy.
“As soon as I could after my surgery, I got up, got dressed and went out walking. Later, I even got into the habit of running to my radiotherapy treatments at Weston Park Hospital. It became my own therapy and felt wonderful.”
A mammogram revealed Dot is also cancer free: “I would say it’s vital to - as much as possible - get up, get out and continue with the life you had before cancer.”
For more information, visit movemoresheffield.com