I'm Tim Matley, I'm a 35 year old Irish singer/songwriter who lives in London and sings with platinum selling UK vocal harmony group, The Overtones.
On Thursday 3rd May 2018, I will skydive out of a plane at 15,000 feet to try and raise as much money as possible for a cause very close to my heart - The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
In Summer 2016, I found a lump in my underarm, and on the 2nd of September that same year, I was diagnosed with stage three malignant melanoma - a form of skin cancer.
It was a very frightening and scary time for me and my family. I had felt fine and had no symptoms (aside from the lump) so couldn't quite believe the diagnosis.
The first step in my treatment was lymph node surgery under my right arm. Of 24 lymph nodes that were removed during this surgery, melanoma was found in 23 of them and I was told after the surgery that there were also lumps in my neck. I had a scan a few weeks after surgery which confirmed that the lumps in my neck were also melanoma and that I had two large tumours on my adrenal glands. At an already frightening time, I was then told that the cancer was now stage 4.
I subsequently did a lot of research into melanoma treatment and discovered that the most pioneering treatment was taking place at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London where they had undertaken the biggest trial of the immunotherapy drugs - ipilimumab & nivolumab.
Immunotherapy pauses the growth of the cancer in order to allow your own immune system to fight the disease and has proved the most effective treatment for this type of cancer.
I started treatment with these drugs in March 2017 and I am happy to say that I am one of the lucky ones who has responded amazingly to this treatment.
My latest scans look really positive, with most of the cancer in regression, and I've got my fingers crossed that when I have my next full scan at Christmas, I will be diagnosed NED (no evidence of disease).
I can't express how grateful I am to Professor Goer and Dr Larkin at the Royal Marsden for their pioneering research into this form of treatment and the care I have received at the hospital has been second to none.
I have also received counselling and support from The Royal Marsden as it can be very emotionally and mentally challenging dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the following weeks/months of treatment. Although I was and still am very positive and determined - I was also very afraid of dying.
Throughout the whole course of my treatment, the Royal Marsden have, and continue to be amazing and I just want to do something to say a huge thank you to Dr Larkin, Professor Goer and the whole team at the Royal Marsden.
By doing this Skydive, I would like to raise as much money as I can to help them continue their incredible research and help more people in the way they have helped me.
Thank you so much for your support and any amount you can give will make a huge difference
About the Royal Marsden
Imagine a future beyond cancer. At The Royal Marsden we’re dedicated to making this happen. We’re a world-leading cancer centre who pioneer new treatments that save lives. We use our research every day to provide the very best in diagnosis, treatment and care for our patients.
The revolutionary way we treat people in our hospitals has far-reaching impact, nationally and internationally. This kind of pioneering work costs money. Support The Royal Marsden and you’re investing in a future beyond cancer for you and for everyone you know.