Ex-firefighter hopes to buy machine to detect skin cancer for Birmingham hospital before he dies

A retired firefighter who has been given a couple of months to live has said he hopes to buy a cancer detection machine for a hospital before he dies. Mike Hull, who is from Droitwich, has skin cancer and has between one and two months to live.

In 2014, he saw different GPs who all diagnosed something different until one sent him immediately to hospital. He had a Melanoma removed the next day. 

He said: "When I went to the GP initially, the first three or four GP's thought it was a mole or a wart or this or that.

"And if the mole machine had been available or, you know, access was okay to it, then and I think the outcome could have been different, really."

The mole mapping machine, which operates like an airport scanner, helps identify whether moles are malignant and keeps track of any changes in the moles.

What is a Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.

This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women. 

Mr Hull has now raised around £18,000 to buy the machine through a determined fundraising campaign by him and his family.

Mike's wife, Carol Hull said she felt "overwhelmed" by their current situation.

"It's not going to help us, but it might help our kids, future generations to come. It's so easy, you just stand in it and it rotates around your body and it can pick up the tiniest of things," she added.

£30,000 needs to be raised for one to be installed at Birmingham's QE Hospital.He said that if he had access to such a machine, it may have caught the cancer early enough to prolong his life.

Mrs Hull says she will continue to fundraise after Mike has died with the hope of preventing other families from feeling their pain.