A MELROSE man living with incurable cancer has brought other with the disease together to help raise money for charity.

Kevin Donaghy wanted to show others they were not alone when he first shared his story of being diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma.

Kevin, an ambassador for Melanoma UK – a cancer charity – then decided to write Stories of Cancer and Hope, with the hope that his and others' stories would bring comfort to those newly diagnosed with cancer.

Proceeds from the book of real-life stories will go to Melanoma UK.

Kevin said: “I overcame the trauma of diagnosis by sharing my story.

"It helped me take control but also led to conversations with others which helped stop my cancer from defining me.

“So I thought why not compile a book of stories from others who have lived through their own experiences with cancer.

"I decided to put out a personal appeal for contributors to his book idea and was delighted to receive dozens of replies.

“Now I have stories from others recounting their own personal or family experiences of cancer.

"Some are from fellow sufferers who not only survived but are thriving.

"Others who told their story have sadly passed away, or have had their story recounted by relatives and loved ones.

"Their tales have inspired me, and I hope that they do so for others, and the main theme of the book for those recently diagnosed with cancer, or living with cancer is, ‘you’re not alone’.”

Stories of Cancer and Hope is being self-published, with Kevin's family and friends supporting its production.

The front cover of the book has been designed by Kevin's daughter Katherine, who is an illustration student at the University of Dundee.

Stories in the book have come from across the UK, and touch on the trauma of first being diagnosed and the toll the coronavirus pandemic took on cancer sufferers and their families.

Kevin added: “The stories are real-life experiences, nothing is sugar-coated in any way.

"But alongside the dark place of facing up to a first diagnosis, and for others the dreaded return of their cancer, there is hope, pathos and some humour which I believe will provide real hope to others currently living with cancer, or those yet to be diagnosed in the future.”

Kevin has ensured that 1,500 copies of his book will be given to cancer patients for free.

Maggie's – a cancer care charity – has also taken around 10 copies for each of its 24 centres around the UK.

Stories of Cancer and Hope will also be available for the public to purchase from the Melanoma UK website.