John's Story - Rectal Cancer

John's Story

- Rectal Cancer

Five years ago, John was diagnosed with rectal cancer. The cancer started growing in his pelvis to a size so big it started affecting his other organs. To treat his cancer, surgeons removed his rectum, sphincter, bladder, prostate and most of his bowel, he was then fitted with a colostomy and urostomy. Despite now being cancer-free, John lives with the brutal impact cancer had on his body. 

“I’m certainly not over all the complications. The bags will always be there. They will always be a problem.” 


Content not working due to cookie settings.

Manage your cookie settings here

One of the consequences of John’s cancer treatment affected his ability to have sex. 

“Being a young lad and wanting to have children, something you usually take for granted, was completely taken away.” 

Gemma said: “Even though he was no longer ill with the cancer, he was left with a body that had been ravaged and that he couldn’t be sexually active.” 

In 2019, John had an operation to give him back some sexual function. He received a bionic implant which, in his own words, gave him “the ability to be a man again”. 

The couple look forward to their future together, however, the fear that the cancer may return plays on their minds every day. 

John and Gemma

"I don't particularly want for riches or anything like that. I'm quite happy to just be boring and have no more drama. Just to have a happy life together with Gemma, and that's it. That's all I want."


Our research brings treatments to people who need them, faster.

1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer during their life time.

Donate now