His daughter Amelia wanted him to write a letter to be read at her wedding, but now he will be there for her.
A father who was told he didn't have long to live in 2019 is now walking his daughter down the aisle. Sean Guinness, 60, considers himself "the luckiest man" after he was treated for melanoma in 2011 and it returned eight years later and spread to his liver and intestine. Guinness, from Harrogate, U.K., said he never thought he'd be there for his daughter's wedding, let alone walk her down the aisle. He is now "cancer-free" after undergoing immunotherapy, reported BBC. "When I was really ill, Amelia wanted me to write a letter that could be read out on her wedding day," he said. "I feel blessed that I will now be there for her." He says "there are no words" to describe how grateful he feels. Guinness also has a son.
He was diagnosed with Stage 1A melanoma after he did a health check-up after noticing a mole on his leg bleeding. The mole was removed via a small operation. He was told that there was a "very small" chance of the cancer returning. He moved on with his life and all was good until he felt stomach pain in 2019. A scan showed that cancer had returned and it had also spread. “I was ready for living the happy life because my wife and I had brought up a family together. And then suddenly, it felt like everything I’d worked for was being taken away from me very sharply," he said. Doctors said parts of his small intestine had to be removed. He underwent an operation to have the parts removed and was recovering. Three weeks later, his doctors had bad news for him. "My surgeon told me the very dramatic and scary news that I had eight months to live," he recalled. It came as a huge shock to him and his family.
He was prescribed nivolumab and ipilimumab as part of immunotherapy in the hope that his immune system would find and kill the cancer cells. It worked and Guinness, who's a government IT specialist, was finally cancer-free. He believes he was cured by a “miracle drug." He still can't come to terms with the fact that he can now walk his daughter down the aisle. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world. I don’t want to win anything. I don’t want to win the pools. I don’t want to win the lottery — I feel like I’ve won the lottery many times over," said Guinness, reported WalesOnline. “I’m very close to my daughter, and to be able to walk her down the aisle and to give her away at her wedding day — it’s the things that you dream of in middle age. I’m a reasonably articulate person, but the words that I can use seem quite feeble compared to the emotions that I feel. I’m grateful to everyone who has got me this far.”
Guinness is now part of a program at the University of Oxford that studies the causes and treatment of melanoma. Guinness' diagnosis also raised awareness among his loved ones and a few of his friends have also supported the program. They even organized a sponsored cycle ride across France to raise money for the research. Mark Middleton, a melanoma oncologist at the university, had nothing but kind words for Guinness for how he had supported the program. Middleton called him "a fantastic advocate" for improving diagnoses and patient involvement.
Guinness is now looking forward to his daughter Amelia's wedding in August. "I do not think there are any words in the English language that describe the feeling of gratefulness," said Guinness.