Nick's positive message after gruelling cancer journey

He has come through a battle with tongue cancer – and now Nick Anderson is keen to spread the word about the power of positivity as well as showing his support for a local cancer charity.

Father-of-three Nick is just glad to be alive after enduring a gruelling personal journey that has seen him re-evaluate life.

“This all started at the end of 2016 when I thought I had bitten my tongue very badly,” said Nick. “The pain got more and more intense over several weeks, and I was eventually referred to consultant oral maxillofacial surgeon Michael Bater.

“I had MRI and CT scans and then a biopsy, and it transpired that I had tongue cancer, which was a huge shock.

“I had to undergo surgery, which involved the removal of 45 per cent of my tongue, and I had reconstructive surgery. It was a 10-and-a-half hour operation.”

The road to recovery involved 30 sessions of radiotherapy over a six-week period, which saw Nick, from Sherborne St John, making regular trips to Guildford for his treatment.

“It was an awful time, said Nick, 48. “However, I found that having a positive attitude really makes a huge difference. I believe that you have to be in charge of the cancer and I was determined to confront it in this way.

“My surgeon and the medical team were brilliant, and the support of my wife Bex, our three children, and my friends was amazing and crucial in helping me through the whole process – the level of positivity around me was incredible.”

Close friends like Edward Benyon and Rob Jones were always on hand to help and support Nick and his family – and it was Nick’s battle that largely inspired Rob, Managing Director of Basingstoke-based strategic brand consultancy The Escape, to take part in last July’s Ark to Arc cycling event that raised more than £70,000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Being made aware of Ark’s mission to raise £5million towards a much-needed Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cancer treatment centre in the Basingstoke area – one that will reduce the need for people to travel to Guildford and Southampton for treatment – has now inspired Nick to nominate the charity as a beneficiary at The Welsh Xtrem 2018.

The Welsh Xtrem is a three-day multi-discipline 4x4 challenge event that tests the driver and co-driver to their limit and ability. This year, it is taking place over the weekend of March 9-11 in The Pit at Cynheidre, Lanelli.

Nick said: “I have been involved in The Welsh Xtrem for a few years, and I spoke to Jason ‘Nobby’ Morgan – who is the driving force behind it – about Ark being one of the charities that will benefit from funds raised at the 2018 event.

“He was delighted to take Ark on board so this year’s event will be a great way to raise further funds for, and awareness of, the charity and the cancer treatment centre project.”

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but Nick is in no doubt as to what led his life-changing encounter with cancer.

“My tongue cancer was caused through smoking and drinking. If I knew how bad things were going to be, I would never have touched a cigarette. I hope that what happened to me is a lesson for others.”

Like so many people who have been touched by cancer, Nick has a new outlook on life. A successful businessman, he has stepped back from being a director of a demolition company, and is now taking stock of what he does going forward.

“I am just glad to have survived what I have gone through,” said Nick. “I am grateful for every day, and I am determined to make the most of every day.”


Picture caption: Nick Anderson has nominated Ark as one of The Welsh Xtrem 2018 charities.

Picture by Sarah Gaunt Photography