Tragic cancer journey of caring Ipswich teacher remembered in new book

Mike Ginn with his daughter Hope, who was born just three months before his cancer diagnosis

Mike Ginn with his daughter Hope, who was born just three months before his cancer diagnosis - Credit: Fiona Ginn

The inspirational but tragic journey of an Ipswich father and school teacher who lost his battle to cancer has been detailed in a new book.

Former Hillside Primary School teacher and father Mike Ginn kept an online diary of his battle against leukaemia from 2016 until his death 13 months later, aged 29 – which became an inspiration to others in similar situations nationwide.

Now, honouring his wishes, Mike's wife Fiona has published his writing as a book in a bid to keep other people living with cancer strong during their hardest days.

Mike Ginn with his family

The diary of former Ipswich primary school teacher Mike Ginn has been published as a book - Credit: Fiona Ginn

The keen sportsman was diagnosed with the condition just three months after the birth of the couple's daughter, Hope, having discovered swollen lymph nodes in different parts of his body.

His entire journey – including his hardest days enduring chemotherapy – are detailed in the book, with the hope his strength and resilience through his final days at St Elizabeth Hospice will inspire others.

Mrs Ginn said Mike had been "over the moon" to welcome Hope to the world, and is remembered as a "very caring person who would go above and beyond for anyone".

She said: "While he was in Ipswich Hospital, Mike found it therapeutic to write notes about how he was feeling and he soon came up with the idea of turning these into an online blog, which quickly became very popular, being read by over 10,000 people who were inspired and moved by his story.

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“It is a real life diary which documents his experiences of receiving extensive chemotherapy treatment and how cancer impacted him and our family.

“I really hope people feel inspired by the courage Mike showed during a time of complete uncertainty for the future.

"By publishing his words, I am fulfilling a promise I made to Mike, as he was very keen his story would be used for good and inspire others for days and years ahead who may also be facing challenges.

“We were both keen to make others aware of the support out there and hopefully this book will go some way towards highlighting the help available, while also allowing Hope to read how strong and inspiring her dad was, and will continue to be, to all who know him and his story.”

As a St Elizabeth Hospice fundraiser herself, Mrs Ginn added she "never expected" her husband would one day require their care and wants to show others the incredible work they do.

She said: "Having worked as a fundraiser for St Elizabeth Hospice for a number of years I’ve seen the incredible support they provide to those in need. However, I never thought I’d see the day the hospice would be caring for my own husband.

"They were absolutely brilliant throughout Mike’s illness and I cannot thank them enough for the compassion they gave and the dignity they provided Mike with, as it was a huge weight lifted from me knowing he was receiving such fantastic care.”

The book, Diary of a 20 Something Cancer Fighter: My Journey Through Cancer, can be bought here.

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