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Keith Hern

It was May 2007 when I heard the three words that changed my life ‘you have cancer’ – three small words, but totally devastating to hear. The next six months were occupied by operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy before hearing the all clear in November. I had photographed and diarised my treatment, including my fundraising trek to Iceland for The Royal Marsden Hospital, without whom I would never have seen 2008. ‘Bangers & Mash’ was published in November 2009.
Two weeks later I was diagnosed again, this time in my chest, rather than the throat which had been the case in 2007, only this time I was given a 10-40% chance of survival. In May 2010 the treatment finished and had again been successful. Since then I have set up a website about the experience (www.throatcancersurvivor.co.uk), started writing the follow up book, begun presenting on my throat cancer journey entitled ‘Out of Adversity’, and am now planning another trek some time in 2012.

When cancer originally struck I was three years into my mid-life career ‘enlightenment’ having swapped twenty three years of corporate sales for life as a freelance photographer. Travel has always been my passion and it was a chance visit to a photo exhibition in Port Douglas of the work of Peter Lik, that inspired me take photography seriously, and two redundancies that led to my career swap. I have now visited over 65 countries, and have had my first two travel photo books published, one on Guatemala and one on Zimbabwe.

Away from travel and photography I am married with an eighteen year old daughter, and keep myself active regularly partaking in real tennis, golf, yoga and when possible skiing and scuba diving.

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