Horse racing professional and father of four, Johnny Hassett, from County Clare, is supporting The Big Check Up 2023 to help the Marie Keating Foundation “Change how we see lung cancer”.
Johnny shared his remarkable story with us.
He “had a cough and a wheeze” for about a year before he finally got it checked.
” I’m usually quite fit but I was out jogging and I knew something was zapping my energy. I thought it was maybe Covid and that it would go away so I ignored it, for too long,” he said.
When Johnny eventually went to the doctor he was initially treated with antibiotics. When the antibiotics failed to work, he was sent for further investigations which revealed a 1cm lump in his chest, around the lung. After a biopsy, more investigations and a collapsed lung, an oncologist asked him how many kids he had and advised him to go home and get his affairs in order.
“I was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer in June 2021, and no one was expecting me to live,” Johnny said.
Over the last two and a half years, Johnny has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions throughout his cancer journey which saw the disease spread to his stomach and brain in 2022. Incredibly, with the (fundraising) support of the horse racing community, he accessed groundbreaking immunotherapy treatment in Germany and Ireland and has as recently as October 18th, 2023, been given the fantastic news that he is currently cancer free.
During his treatment he also expanded his business, setting up a new race horse shareholding venture, Get In The Game. “I kept going and it was kind of crazy but it was the kind of crazy I needed to be,” said Johnny.
His message, and the message of the Marie Keating Foundation ‘Big Check Up’ campaign, is to “get checked early” to improve the chances of early diagnosis and treatment potential. Its time to “Change how we see Lung Cancer”
Click here to learn the facts about lung cancer, its signs and symptoms and read other real stories and experiences. The Big Check Up 2023 from The Marie Keating Foundation.