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Cheers to you Chris!

Chris pulls a perfect pint at The Garrick Inn, Stratford.
Chris pulls a perfect pint at The Garrick Inn, Stratford.

POPULAR Stratford-upon-Avon landlord Chris Burton had the perfect toast when he pulled himself a pint in celebration at just receiving a ‘cancer all-clear’.

The 46-year-old landlord of the famous Garrick Inn has spent the last nine months fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma – a relatively rare form of cancer that spreads through the body’s lymphatic system.

But, after an intense treatment regime, Chris has just received the news that he is in the clear – and the keen motor-biker is already planning a road trip around Bosnia and Croatia to mark the occasion.

Chris, who runs one of Stratford’s oldest pubs with wife Lynette, started to think ‘something wasn’t right’ when instead of being his busy and bouncy self he felt tired and lethargic on a regular basis.

But it was when a lump ‘the size of a golf ball’ appeared in his neck that he decided he had to take action and visited Mr Huw Griffiths, an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant Surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull.

“Mr Griffiths took a fluid sample and then did a biopsy. By now I had been a regular visitor to ‘Dr Google’ and, to be honest, I wasn’t too surprised when he told me I had Hodgkin Lymphoma,” said Chris who had lost his brother Simon to cancer at just 27-years-old.

Chris was referred to Consultant Haematologist Dr Shankar Paneesha at Spire Parkway who took control of his treatment from that moment. He explained: “The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system carrying disease-fighting white blood cells through a network of vessels and glands.”

“Hodgkin lymphoma is indeed fairly rare, accounting for less than one per cent of all new lymphoma cases in the UK each year.

“Once we had carried out sophisticated tests to establish the extent of lymphoma on Chris we then started a chemotherapy regime which he handled very well. We were all delighted when his scan showed he was ‘cancer clear’.”

As for Chris, he added: “I’m not going to say it has been easy because there have certainly been some low times but, with the support of my family and lots of my regulars, as well as my employers Greene King, I have managed to stay positive throughout it all.”

Looking ahead to his forthcoming bike trip Chris said: “A friend and I have done the trip in the past so as soon as I began treatment he said that we were going to do it again as soon as I was better. Well I’m better now and raring to get back on the bike again but, for the moment, I’m just happy to be back behind the bar and pulling pints.”

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