Borders man compiles book of hope for cancer patients

A Borders man is on a mission to bring hope and comfort to those living with cancer.

Kevin Donaghy was diagnosed with stage two melanoma five years ago and was told the cancer hadn’t spread. But in December 2019 back pain led to the discovery his illness had returned and was incurable. He described the diagnosis as “like a wrecking  ball, everything just got smashed to pieces”.

His cancer is now under control, but he wants to make sure others don’t feel the sense of isolation and confusion he did. He’s compiling a book of stories from, and about, those who have experienced the disease. 

He says: “The NHS is an amazing organisation for looking after you physically, but mentally you're looking for answers. It was through talking to other people that have experienced cancer that hope started to build. It got me to the point of thinking ‘surely I’m not alone, surely other people are looking for the same sort of hope’”. 

The project is being supported by businessman Ricky Nicol; his company Commsworld is providing financial support. Ricky was diagnosed with throat cancer aged 44 and given a 50/50 chance of survival, 16 years later he has made a full recovery. 

He hopes this project will help end some of the stigma around the illness: “When I was a kid cancer was the Big C. There has always been that terror in just the word. People are now seeing it’s not necessarily the end of the world.”

If you or anyone you know would like to get in touch and contribute to Stories of Cancer and Hope email Kevin at