We recently received an extremely thoughtful donation in memory of Ryan Shield, who was just 24 when he passed away in December 2021.

Ryan, from Cummersdale, Carlisle was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2021 after suffering from headaches for some weeks.

It was found that Ryan’s tumour was melanoma and, after extensive research, was linked to a benign mole he had removed from his forehead when he was 10-years-old. The tumour was removed at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and he received intensive stereotactic radiotherapy surgery at the Freeman Hospital, also in Newcastle.

The outlook was positive and it was confirmed he was in remission at the end of October 2021. However, at this time, Ryan had started to suffer from back pain.

Professor Ruth Plummer, his melanoma consultant, and the melanoma team arranged for an MRI to be undertaken and, very sadly, only two weeks after celebrating his remission, Ryan was informed the cancer had returned and had spread – he now had multiple tumours in his brain, spine, lung and liver.

Ryan faced cancer once again, this time metastatic malignant melanoma, and in November 2021 he began receiving immunotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

Despite everything, Ryan remained as positive as possible and, although he was in unimaginable pain, kept his sense of humour and displayed immense bravery.

He managed to have one of three planned sessions of immunotherapy on the 3rd December 2021, with the second session booked for Christmas Eve, but his condition deteriorated very quickly and he was admitted to Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle for pain management.

Ryan passed away at the hospice on 16th December 2021 surrounded by his loving family.

An electrical and mechanical engineer at McVities in Carlisle, Ryan began fundraising for CRUK after his initial diagnosis and had hoped to raise £500. At the time of his death, he had raised an incredible £5,000.

His family have continued to fundraise in Ryan’s memory and held two very special events on what would have been his 25th and 26th birthdays, raising almost £8,000 and £5,085 respectively.

Ryans mum, Ruth said: “We are incredibly proud of Ryan’s bravery throughout and how, even during his most difficult days, his focus was to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.

“Although devastated following his passing, we have endeavoured to carry on raising as much money as possible for further research as part of Ryan’s legacy.”

To date, fundraising and donations in Ryan’s memory total more than £25,452 for CRUK, £2,000 for Eden Valley Hospice and, most recently, we were touched to receive a donation for £1,000.

The money will be used to help find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer for patients now and in the future, and we are very grateful to receive it.

In 2012, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation made a grant of £850,000 to help deliver a state-of-the-art stereotactic radiotherapy suite at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital. We are very proud to have helped support Ryan’s treatment.