From 'upset tummy' to terminal cancer: Father of four young children's harsh reality of knowing clock is ticking

By Charlotte Bentley | Whitchurch | Health | Published:

“I have got four young children, aged nine, seven, five and three – what do you tell them? What do I do? Do I just leave it and one day their mother is going to turn round and say ‘daddy is gone’?”

Jamie McCulloch

Just five months ago, Jamie McCulloch was 15-stone, fit and healthy. But then his life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given between just six months and two years to live.

The 55-year-old from Whitchurch has bravely opened up about the harsh reality of knowing the clock is ticking, and the fact he won’t see his children grow up.

“I had an upset tummy so I went to see the doctor who sent me for a colonoscopy where they found a tumour in my bowl,” he said.

“After a further scan, they found the cancer had spread into my liver and there were some anomalies on my lungs as well.


“The first thing the doctor said to me was, you’ve got between six months and two years to live – there is no cure. What do you do when you’re told that?”

Two weeks later he started chemotherapy to prolong his life.

“The first lot was bad. I sat on my sofa afterwards and I didn’t move," he said.


Jamie McCulloch

"One day I said to myself 'right, get up off your backside, get going, this isn’t going to beat you – it will do one day but at the moment, no, and I’m going to fight it for as long as I possibly can.'

“I cannot cry. I want to cry and bawl my eyes out but I cannot, because I think I would go to pieces.”

The Scottish rugby fan is already planning for after he has gone. He has written his will, planned where his ashes will be scattered and is even looking to marry his partner of four years, Michelle, early next year.


However, that is not the only mark Jamie wants to leave, as he has decided to create a cancer support group in Whitchurch to make sure no-one faces the disease alone.


“I want to leave a legacy” he said.

“When I am gone, I want this support network to continue for all the sufferers who have got this awful disease because five months ago I was 15-stone, I had muscles and then suddenly I was ill and I have lost so much weight.”

Jamie said he has a good support network, especially in his older children, aged 32 and 30, and wanted to set up the Whitchurch Cancer Support Group to help others battling cancer.

The group’s first meeting will be held on Wednesday at Lavender and Lace in Whitchurch at 5pm.

He said: “If I can go to my deathbed knowing I have made a difference, then I will feel that I have accomplished something.

“Hopefully, that will not be for a while – I’ve got too much to do.”

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at

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