The managing editor of the Oldham Evening Chronicle has returned to work after a year-long battle with cancer.
Dave Whaley has written an award-winning series of articles about his illness after being diagnosed with a malignant tumour on his vocal cords in April last year.
He was initially given the all-clear after undergoing radiotherapy last summer, but the cancer returned and Whaley was required to have surgery.
In what was his last article before returning to work full-time, Whaley said he was “continuing to astound the doctors with my recovery” after having his vocal cords removed.
He said: “On the last day of April, 2014, I heard the word “cancer”. On the last day of April, 2015, I plan to be sitting poolside in Tenerife, champagne in hand, toasting “life” alongside my wife and friends.
“All that has happened in those 12 months I have conveyed to paper and the response to the “Keep Smiling” articles has been uplifting and humbling.
“I know my self-determination and positive outlook have been at the core of my recovery. But that could well have waned had it not been for others on my side: a shout across a street or fairway, a “we read it every week”, the shake of a hand, a brief word. Cards and letters from people I don’t even know!”
Whaley added: “I look healthier, not so drawn in the face and with more colour.
“I still don’t have much of a voice — it’s more of a whisper that isn’t much use when there is any background noise — but improvement, we were told, will come in time and I have to be patient.”