Liam Ryan

Speaker, Author, Architect in County Tipperary, Ireland

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Liam Ryan has become one of the greatest cancer survivors of all time. Diagnosed with one of the worst cases of Head & Neck cancer ever seen he simply had no chance. His initial consultant told him he was the second worse case he had ever seen. The worst case was dead in a month. Very few hospitals in the world could offer any hope to a case like his. He was given just weeks to live.

Impressed by his fighting spirit Prof. Simon Rogers and his team in Liverpool decided to offer Liam a chance, without believing he would make it. The problem with Head & Neck cancer is the treatment required is so extreme, it will generally put you in the grave before the cancer gets to. To survive the operation itself would be a huge achievement. Beyond that anything would be a bonus. Everything in Liams head was at risk. He was likely to lose his sight, his speech, his hearing, his mobility, his brain function or any combination of all 5. But none of that mattered then. He just wanted to alive. If he was alive he was winning, and cancer was losing.
He underwent a life threatening 12 hour operation, followed by 7 weeks of extensive chemo-radiotherapy. Then he nearly died all over again in recovery with bacterial meningitis twice and a deep vein thrombosis. He was in hospital for 4 months and simply had no business still being alive by the end of 2002.

All of that was 15 years ago! His survival alone was a miracle but now it has been outdone by his even more incredible recovery. In 2012, on the 10th anniversary, Liam wanted to mark the end of the amazing survival and recovery part of this story so he ran his first marathon, post-cancer, and wrote a book, Cancer 4, Me 5. He is working, running and living a full life again. It is almost as if, apart from his eyepatch he never had cancer!

His consultants are simply amazed. They have told him, 15 years on, with the quality and length of his survival, he has become one of the greatest cancer survivors of all time. He has become the living proof that nothing is for certain.

Liams story has become a huge inspiration, not just for cancer patients, but for everybody. He has had responses to it from all over the world. A big part of his "second" life is to try to tell it to as many people as he can. He wants everybody to know that there is no mountain that can't be climbed.

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  • Work
    • Architect, Speaker, Author, Fundraiser, Runner
  • Education
    • John Moores University, Liverpool