A GP undergoing tests to become a kidney donor was shocked when doctors discovered a life-threatening tumour the size of an ORANGE – despite showing no symptoms.
Dr David Cheung’s selfless act to help others may have saved his own life – when doctors discovered a cancerous tumour on his left kidney.
David had been so inspired to become a donor by a couple from his church who had each donated a kidney to their son last summer.
However, it was only then, in an unbelievable twist of fate and despite having no symptoms whatsoever, doctors found the 11x8cm growth and made their shock diagnosis.
David said the “surreal” diagnosis came completely out the blue in August 2017 as he’d not experienced any of the usual symptoms such as extreme fatique and abdomen pains.
In October 2017, David had a successful operation to remove the tumour along with his left kidney and has since been given the all-clear.
Now, 12 months on from his cancer treatment, David is still to donate his other organs and will be marking the milestone by running the Chicago marathon.
David, 45, said: “It all happened so quickly and really brought it home to me that cancer can affect anyone.
“My family and friends found it more difficult to accept but you just have to rationalise that these things happen and I’m no different to any other patient.
“It was really surreal, I felt completely fine, I had none of the usual symptoms like blood in the urine, fatigue or weight loss.
“It just goes to show even doctors need to be careful as who knows what might have happened if we hadn’t found it by chance.
“I knew something was wrong by the nurse’s face when she was looking over my test results but I couldn’t believe it when I saw the size of the tumour because I felt absolutely fine.
“I was in a state of shock I think, it was completely out the blue but I received excellent care from the NHS and was also incredibly well supported by work colleagues and the church.”
David who is a keen runner now wants to raise awareness of organ donations and how important they are.
David, who works at Ash Trees Surgery, Lancs., said: “I’ve come to realise that it’s important to talk about it.
“I am living proof that people can survive cancer but a big part of that survival journey is being able to talk about it.
“Another reason for telling my story now is to highlight how important it is to be a donor.
“We’re in a nation where there are so many people on the transplant list that we need to do more to change attitudes and raise awareness of how the gift of donation can transform someone’s life.
“And the irony that it was getting involved with the transplant team that saved my own life isn’t lost on me.
“I am just thankful it was spotted when it was and that’s all down to wanting to be an organ donor.”
David has raised money in the past for cancer and kidney charities but his marathon efforts will be focusing on a charity a little closer to home.
He said: “A personal interest of mine has always been palliative care and I had the benefit of working as a weekend GP at St John’s a few years ago.
“In my day job, I have referred many people as in-patients and day patients and we really are so lucky to have it as part of our local community.”
To find out more, visit https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/davidcheung