Michael Freeman first had cancer in 2006. In 2012 he noticed a lump on his face. The doctor on duty diagnosed mumps, but the lump stuck around; later a scan revealed a large tumour below his tongue – but initially no treatment could be offered, and he and his partner Carole were referred to a palliative nurse. Months later, a biopsy revealed the nature of the tumour and treatment began. Two years on, Michael is launching a self-help book for other cancer sufferers, aimed at raising funds for local services. The reader is treated to a fly-on-the-wall view of how they got through this dark time, with poems which reveal their inner feelings, and helpful tips for those in a similar boat. His story shows the importance of seeking lots of help and advice to understand the choices you face; of asking questions if you don’t understand something; and of facing up to the choices you have.
Michael served twelve years in the Royal Navy, including five years on submarines. After this he spent his working life (1972 -2008) supporting children and adults who had been referred to Social Services and Voluntary Agencies. Initially a residential carer, he has also fostered eleven children with severe learning disabilities and is currently a ‘shared life carer’ for an adult who has lived with his family for twenty years. Michael is presently working on part one of a humorous autobiography ‘Don’t Lose Your Paddle’ describing his time spent on submarines and surface ships. He and Carole have also written about fostering disabled children and Michael has created a series of children’s stories featuring a wheelchair user for children aged 4-10.
Book launch 11th April 2015, 11am to 1pm, Veritas wine bar, 43 Great George St, Leeds