When Donny Brown started having unexplained nose bleeds and developed an unpleasant taste in his mouth, the last thing he suspected was cancer.

But his GP didn’t take any chances, and quickly referred the 58-year-old to Ipswich Hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department, where various tests and biopsies revealed a tumour in his sinus.

Following two operations and an intense six-weeks of radiotherapy, Donny is now cancer free – and keen to give something back to say thank you for the “phenomenal” treatment he received.

“I’d been unwell for a little while and had difficulty breathing through my nose, lots of pain and nose bleeds and a horrible taste in my mouth,” said Donny, who lives in Ipswich with wife Karen. “I was also having problems with my eyes, which turned out to be the tumour pushing on the brain sac.

“This all happened in early 2021 during COVID-19, which meant my wife couldn’t be by my side during my treatments. I was obviously worried but everyone at the hospital was brilliant and were there for me instead. The care I received was excellent.

“I had surgeries at both Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s and was then given the maximum dose of radiotherapy. I knew that I’d have some side effects such as tiredness, neck cramps and a dry mouth, but have been able to deal with them. The radiotherapy team were very good and warned me what to expect and gave me lots of advice to help me manage.”

Since his treatment, Donny has co-founded the Ipswich branch of Swallows, which is a support group for people who have experienced head and neck cancer.

"I feel so lucky that I was treated so quickly, especially as some of my friends sadly haven’t been as fortunate,” added Donny, who has recently started volunteering at the ENT Department. “I wanted to give something back, which is why I got involved with the support group.

“When you have recently been diagnosed and are starting your cancer journey, it’s vital to stay positive. I hope that I am making a small difference through the support group and by volunteering, by reminding others that they are not alone and showing that recovery is possible.”