The family of a car salesman say they want to create more awareness of the signs of cancer after their dad suddenly fell ill.

Self-employed Mukarram Ali always looked after his health, kept an eye on his diet and also visited the gym regularly.

When he lost weight earlier this year his family and friends urged him to see the GP.

The 53-year-old, who lives with his family in the Whalley Range area and is known to everyone as 'Ali', was referred to Royal Blackburn Hospital for a CT scan.

The scan revealed a tennis ball sized lump in his bowel.

More tests including an endoscopy found he had stage three colorectal cancer which had spread into some lymph nodes, but not to the rest of his body.

His family are now urging support for 'Stand Up To Cancer' this autumn and are backing the joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. 
Ali was initially told he needed six sessions of chemotherapy followed by surgery and then additional chemotherapy.

He started chemotherapy in July as planned, but suffered complications with high temperatures which have seen him in and out of hospital repeatedly ever since.

Ali was unable to start treatment number five as he became very poorly again and was admitted to A&E.  

Sadly, further tests have found his cancer has progressed to an advanced stage and is now incurable.

He and his and family are keen to warn others to see a GP immediately if they have a health issue as Ali was reluctant to book an appointment.

His daughter Syeda is particularly conscious of raising awareness of cancer in the South Asian community.

She and her younger brother Furqaan may be eligible for genetic testing as there is a history of cancer on her dad’s side of the family.

Having lost both her grandparents to cancer, Syeda has previously given up her time as a Cancer Research UK ambassador urging local politicians to keep cancer on the agenda.

Asian Image: Mukarram with son Furqaan and daughter Syeda who is urging people to  support Stand Up To Cancer this autumn.

Syeda, 26, works in medical mommunications after leaving her demanding job in the A&E ward of Royal Blackburn.

She said: “It’s been an incredibly tough time for the family and such a rollercoaster of emotions.

“My dad went from being so fit, well and active driving all over the county for his job to looking like an entirely different man due to the weight loss.

“He is now so tired and emotionally and physically exhausted. But he is keen to urge anyone who notices a change in their body to see their GP immediately and not to put it off through anxiety or being too busy or embarrassed.

“We don’t talk enough about cancer in our community, but it’s important to be open and aware.

"Through my job I understand the terminology of what we are being told, but the language of cancer can be difficult if a family doesn’t know what the words mean or what treatment can entail.”

Stand Up To Cancer is helping to transform the landscape of cancer therapy. Since its launch in 2012, the campaign has raised more than £93 million, funding 64 clinical trials and research projects involving more than 13,000 cancer patients.  
Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, Jane Bullock, said: “Thanks to our supporters, our researchers are working tirelessly  - from developing a molecule to super-charge the immune system to attack tumours, to re-programming viruses to seek and destroy cancer cells.   
“But we must go further and faster. One-in-two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.  All of us can help beat it. That’s why we’re asking everyone to Stand Up To Cancer with us.”
The Stand Up To Cancer campaign will continue throughout October, with a collection of special programming airing on Channel 4 later in the month and culminating in a night of live television on Friday, November 3.
To donate or fundraise visit