When Chris Dickson was diagnosed with bladder cancer it was a devastating blow for the 38-year-old chef.
But now brave Chris is fighting back against the disease with help from a Coronation Street star.
Chris, from Morecambe, received a pep-talk from Sally Dynevor when she escorted him and his daughter Amber on a personal tour of the Corrie set in Manchester.
Sally was herself diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, incredibly receiving the shattering news shortly after a storyline in which her TV character, Sally Webster, also battled the disease.
Both recovered after treatment so Sally was able to give Chris some valued advice from first-hand experience. Chris said: “Sally told me all about how she dealt with it, and what a shock it was.
“We were there for two hours and she took us around every single set, including the Rovers Return. She was so down to earth.”
Chris and Amber’s tour of the famous cobbles came about thanks to Sally’s best friend, hairdresser to the stars Lucinda Hayton. Before Chris and his wife Sharon got married in May, Lucinda, whose clients have included Cheryl Cole, styled Sharon’s hair for the wedding. When Sharon told Lucinda that Amber, 14, wanted to be an actress, Sally’s pal arranged for the Dicksons’ dream tour to come true.
“She thought it would do both Amber and I the world of good and to take our minds off it,” said Chris.
During their visit to the set, they also met other members of the Corrie cast including Jack P Shepherd (David Platt), Les Dennis (Michael Rodwell) and Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts).
Chris said: “It was a rare opportunity that we’ll never get again and Amber was a bit overwhelmed – she’s a big fan!”
The day out was a welcome break for Chris, head chef at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster, who has endured a torrid time since first being diagnosed with cancer 10 months ago. After undergoing chemotherapy, he had 10 tumours removed, then a further 16 tumours taken out after a second course of chemotherapy failed. He is now on a six-week course of strongertreatment called BCG.
“Hopefully I will get through this treatment and come out the other side,
“Having cancer has really changed my outlook on life. You only live once and I look at each day completely differently now.”