A former city MP and mayor has publicly announced that he has incurable cancer in a bid to save other people’s lives.
Days after receiving the devastating news, 59-year-old Brian White bravely requested the Citizen write his story.
“If reading about my symptoms persuades just one person in MK to consult a doctor earlier than I did, then it will all be worth it,” he said.
Brian, who was MP for eight years and a Milton Keynes Labour councillor for two decades, started having chest pain and difficulty swallowing shortly after Christmas.
Despite losing two stone in weight he ignored the symptoms until last month, concentrating instead on planning to retire to a dream villa in the Spanish countryside with his wife Leena.
Two weeks ago, on the day he was due to exchange contracts on the villa, hospital tests revealed he had an tumour on his oesophagus.
Last week scans showed the cancer has spread to his liver and his bones.
“I accept that it can’t be cured and that it’s an inoperable cancer. But that doesn’t mean I’m dying because I intend to fight this with all I’m worth,” he said.
“I have to stick around. There’s a campaign to stay in the EU to be won and a battle to stop the Tories privatising the NHS to be fought.
“The cancer is what is. I can’t change it so I refuse to worry about it. Only one thing is for sure - none of us get out of this world alive.”
Brian is due to start chemo treatment to see if the cancer can be contained, while Willen hospice and Macmillan nurses are helping him manage the pain.
“The NHS has been superb. I could not have wished for better treatment and I simply can’t praise and thank everybody enough for all they have done for me,” he said.