Cotgrave father of two and Von Hippel-Lindau sufferer John Pickering beats the odds to celebrate Boxing Day with his family
A MAN who was told he had only three months to live has beaten the odds and will today sit down to celebrate Boxing Day with his family.
John Pickering has Von Hippel-Lindau disease, a genetic condition he inherited from his mother.
Sufferers often develop cysts and tumours, some of which can become cancerous.
Mr Pickering developed kidney cancer and almost two years ago was told it was inoperable and he only had three months to live.
But today, family will meet with the Cotgrave father-of-two for their Christmas celebrations.
The former factory worker said: "I thought I only had 12 weeks to live.
"I had the 'end of life' talk with my GP, who told me what to expect and how to deal with it. It was pretty rotten.
"Now this is like a second lease of life."
John will be celebrating today with wife Geraldine, 56, son Darren, 35, daughter Joanne, 29, and grandchildren Ben, five, and Emily, 18 months.
It was January 2011 at the City Hospital that he was given his prognosis. He now has cancerous tumours on spine, liver and chest.
If a parent has the syndrome there is a 50 per cent chance of it being passed on to their children.
Both his children have it but it is too early to say whether his grandchildren are affected. His mother, Betty Pickering, who had VHL, died earlier this year aged 81.
Mr Pickering's wife Geraldine said: "We were distraught when we first found out – it's hard to explain.
"Our lives were turned upside down.
"It's better now John is doing well – it's nice to have a bit of reality back."
I should have been dead 18 months ago - read more on John's story here.