John gets prostate cancer message over to deputy PM Clegg

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When Prostate Cancer UK asked John Snell to help on a party conference stand he did not expect to find himself in a media frenzy.

But when cancer survivor John, from Ixworth, found himself face to face with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, it was too good an opportunity to miss to raise the charity’s profile.

Royal Mail had given Prostate Cancer UK space on its stand at the Liberal Party Conference where it was trying to get political support for its ‘Quality Checklist’ campaign to standardise care nationwide.

John said: “I saw Mr Clegg standing in the middle of a circle. He had guards and lots of fighting photographers and I thought there was no way I was going to meet this gentleman.”

But John went round the back of the stand and as he turned the corner, found himself right in front of the party leader, so he stepped forward and introduced himself. After John explained what the charity was doing, Mr Clegg suggested posing for pictures.

John found it a little overwhelming, but he said: “I can’t believe how cool he was.”

The charity has designed a checklist to ensure a quality of care from first visit to the GP to final outcome. John said: “It really is a postcode lottery.”

John’s cancer was cured after a test caught it early but after he spoke of it on Radio Suffolk, a man called in who had asked his GP for the test nine times.