94-year-old with incurable cancer declines treatment to raise funds for others


A 94-year-old man with incurable stomach cancer from Doncaster has turned down the chance of having treatment to take on a fundraising challenge in aid of others.

Alan Bocking was given just two months to live back in August and vowed to walk every day for Macmillan Cancer Support, instead of undergoing chemotherapy.

He said he would rather have 'the quality of life' than have it 'interfered with by chemotherapy'.

Alan is a former Marine Commando who served in the Second World War, which he says made his decision not to pursue chemotherapy easier.

"You may know that or you may not know that Hitler decreed that all commanders, whether they surrendered or not, would be shot", he said.

"So in a sense, the day I was, the day I qualified for my Green Beret was a day that I also had a death sentence on me. That was at 18. So in truth, there were times in a different environment I didn't expect to get to 19. So, that was no problem."

Alan and his wife who he has been married to for 68 years.

Alan has so far raised £16,000 for the cancer charity who described him as an inspiration.

Matt Goodwin, of MacMillan Cancer Support, said: "There are around 179,000 people in Yorkshire living with cancer and Alan's help will go such a long way to helping those people who are directly or indirectly affected by cancer because one in two of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lives."

Alan has three passions: the environment, caring for each other and the importance of exercise. 

And he has this advice: "One of the greatest things in life, however you achieve it, is to try to be at peace with yourself because if you are at peace with yourself, you are at peace with everybody.

"I'm fortunate I found it. I'm at peace with myself and therefore I don't have a bad thought against another human being on the Earth. "

Alan will celebrate his 95th birthday tomorrow (5 January) and there is no doubt he is an inspiration to everyone he meets, as he continues his fundraising journey.