Health & Fitness: Barnsley dad given months to live shares his 'only regret' as he tries to savour every day with his little boy

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An inspiring Barnsley dad who last month was told that he had a maximum of eight months left to live is determined to make sure he spends the rest of his time making precious memories with his son and wife.

David Woffinden, 44, of Athersley, was left stunned when he was told by doctors that the stomach cancer he had had spread throughout his body and was now terminal. However, rather than fall into despair, David has faced the news with astounding positivity and humour and is determined to make the most of his final days by marrying his partner of 20 years Gemma Bullivant and making as many special memories as he can with his seven-year-old son Walter.

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David started struggling with stomach pains last year but put it down to cramps or IBS as they rarely persisted. But when it got worse and he had a prolonged bout of pain he went to the doctors in late February and was told that he had cancer in the ulcers of his stomach. Then, after a scan to see if they could operate, doctors found that the cancer had spread throughout his body and he was told that he had a maximum of eight months left to live.

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David was offered chemotherapy but was told that at best it would extend his life by three months. David said: "It was a case of 'Thank you Mr Banker but I will ignore the chemo and stick with the pain killers and drift off'. So that's what we are doing; living life as best as we can with the kid until I'm unable to go anymore."

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David, who was born and raised in Barnsley and is a Sheffield Wednesday fan, has arranged to marry Gemma - his partner of 20 years - on April 23. The two have been engaged for seven years but have been unable to commit to getting married due to a lack of funds.

David, who has worked as an account manager at Ardent Hire Solutions for the last few years, said: "Something would always come up. The car would break or the boiler would go.

"This has given us the kick up the arse to get it done so we quickly booked a wedding at Barnsley Town Hall. We realised it was St George's Day though so trying to find a reception at short notice was tough but we found a pub in Wakefield and he jumped through hoops for us to get a day."

The couple, who are going to Skegness with their son for their honeymoon to "relive our childhood", met through a friend of David's and have "stood the test of time" since. David said: "We've always got on, we just smile and off we go.

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"I don't take things seriously - even with this cancer I think of it as 'life gives you lemons and you squeeze cancer in the eye with the juice'."

The couple's son Walter was born prematurely and weighed just one and a half pounds. Gemma stopped working to look after him and David said they have "struggled with money" ever since. "We have always looked after him", David said. "We didn't want to put him in care.

"It put us on the back foot for a while and e've just got back on us feet and now this." He added: "It's all good fun."

Walter is David's pride and joy and so he and Gemma are planning to take him to Legoland for a four day trip. David said: "All I've done is just work and spend time with my kid. My spare time involves taking the kid to the park and doing stuff with him.

"It might seem like a dull life but I'm my kid's hero so that's all that matters to me."

He added: "My kid's been wanting to go back (to Legoland) since he was young. We took a picture last time we went next to Lego Ironman and he wants to have the same picture but him grown up. So that's the mission.

"It's just about making memories, mate. That's all we've been focused on. I know I'm going to drop down in health at some point so the idea is before I get to the point where I'm too knackered to build memories and do stuff with the kid, even if it's just trips out for the day; anything we can do. I don't want him to forget me."

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David's colleagues are planning on holding a fundraiser in the coming weeks in Barnsley to help him out financially and Ardent's director Gary Thompson has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. The fundraiser, which you can view and donate to by clicking here, has so far received over £1,500.

Gary said: "It's such a sad situation. It really is.

"It means everything for David to use the limited time he has to make some happy memories with his family and the way everyone's rallied together to help him is fantastic."

David said: "They have been really good. I'm off sick at the minute but they've kept me on full pay to help with the wedding.

"The whole things been a bit of a shock but Gary, my supervisor, has been like a father figure. He lives in Manchester and he's always coming over and checking in. He couldn't do enough."

On the fundraiser, David said: "People giving their money when the world's on its arse - we've been humbled by it all and that's what I keep saying.

"We've got no massive plans to do the house or anything. If we can get £20 to go to Scarborough for the day then brilliant. And then after that who knows. We are taking it day by day, mate."

David said that his only regret is not going to the doctors about his stomach problems sooner and urged anyone who experiences similar issues to get themselves checked out. He said: "It just felt like I'd got a really dodgy stomach and then it got more and more frequent but I just ignored it. I was too stubborn to go but I should have done, then I wouldn't be in this situation. It was too late by the time I got it sorted. Lesson learnt.

"But I can't look back, I've got to look forward."

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