Wigan villagers rally round as retired postman battles cancer
A retired Wigan postman has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from his friends and neighbours while battling cancer.
Mick Marsh praised the community in Aspull for rallying around him, offering support and taking him to hospital appointments over the last few months.
The 66-year-old should have been enjoying his retirement, having left his job in 2020 after delivering post in Aspull for 25 years.
But just two weeks before Christmas he was given the devastating news he had cancer.
Mick, who lives in Aspull, said: “I had a little bit of pain in my chest and I went to the see the doctor. It was for my MOT actually. They found out I was anaemic and so they decided to put me on iron tablets and send me for further investigations at Leigh hospital with a camera.
"When they did that, they found out I had cancer in my stomach and I had an ulcer, which had cancer around it as well.
"It was a shock. I think it was more of a shock to my wife though. I am a person who takes things on the chin, I don’t let things get me down. I am a positive person and have stayed positive throughout the treatment.”
Doctors told Mick and Doreen, his wife of 46 years, that the cancer could not be cured, but it could be treated.
He received six rounds of chemotherapy and a scan showed the tumour was shrinking.
Mick was given another three rounds of chemotherapy and rang a bell at the hospital to mark the end of the treatment.
He was due to see his doctor on Thursday to find out if the tumour was continuing to shrink and discuss possible clinical trials.
Mick praised Doreen for being “absolutely brilliant” throughout his treatment.
He says he has stayed positive since receiving the diagnosis and is grateful for the support of everyone in Aspull.
He said: “The number of people who have helped me has been great. I am a good talker and people have been visiting me and chatting to me. I have chatted with other people who have been in the same situation with cancer and they have told me to keep positive.”
Among those who helped were his best friend Coun Chris Ready and members of Aspull Rugby Club.
Mick said: “When Chris hasn’t been able to take me to treatment, other people rallied round and took me for chemo. I wasn’t able to drive then, so other people in the village took me.
"People have offered and some of the rugby team have said they were there if I needed someone to take me for treatment.
“I did have a lot of friends before, being the postman. My local boozer is The Victoria, on Haigh Road, and I have a lot of friends in there as well who have been asking about me.”
Mick, who has a son and a grandson, is now starting to get back out, recently attending Aspull’s walking day, meeting friends in the pub for a drink and spending time gardening.
And he is clear that he could not have done it without those around him.
"I couldn’t ask for a better village to live in for friends,” he said.