“I had my whole life and my family’s future in my hands, and I lost it all in two minutes.”
That was how an Aberdeen father-of-two described the moment he was told he had an inoperable brain tumour, and had between one and two years to live.
Charlie Dawson had been married for just three months to wife Christine when he was given the diagnosis in November of last year.
The 36-year-old had been on holiday in Bulgaria with his soon-to-be wife and their baby son Carter, then less than a year old, when he collapsed and had a seizure.
The couple would marry in August 2013 but Mr Dawson would continue to show effects of the seizure such as speech and memory problems.
After various tests, Mr Dawson was given an MRI scan, which showed he had a tumour on an area of his brain that could not be operated on.
“My first reaction was to ask the doctor ‘when can you fix me?'”, Mr Dawson said. “But he told me he couldn’t.
“I just wanted to be able to fix it, all my life I’ve been able to fix things but I couldn’t with this.
“At first we did all our crying and emotions and then it was numb and we realised there was nothing we could do about it.”
Mr Dawson, who had worked as an assistant driller for off-shore company Odjfell, had been due to move to South Korea with his family for work, but after the diagnosis he was forced to cancel.
Subsequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy have failed to slow the spread of the tumour down and Mr Dawson’s doctors have now told him there is nothing more they can do for him.
Now Mr Dawson, who also has a 13-year-old son, Owen, from a previous relationship, is hoping to maximise the time he has left with his family.
He continued: “Owen is old enough to understand, he doesn’t quite understand everything about what I have but he knows cancer kills people.
“Carter is too young to know and sometimes it’s annoying, but other times I’m glad that he doesn’t.
“I would love to see him go to school, I’m going to fight this as long as I can, I’m not going to take it easy. I’ll just keep doing what the doctors ask me to do.
“I’m scared about the mess I’ll leave behind me, and I can’t fix it.”
Mr Dawson’s story was also featured on Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer on Friday – a night combining live entertainment and personal stories from people living with the disease – which raised £14.5 million for Cancer Research UK.
And Mr Dawson says it is important for him and his wife to do as much as they can to raise awareness for as long as they can.
Mr Dawson said: “The reason I took part in that was because if I can help even one person with cancer through the programme, then I’ll be proud of myself.
“And I hope I have helped someone out there and made them realise that just because they have cancer doesn’t mean they have to stop, you have to keep going.”
To make a donation visit standuptocancer.org.uk or phonelines remain open until November 27 on 0300 123 4444.