A BARROW grandad diagnosed with terminal cancer has donated his locks to help raise funds for the unit which ‘saved his life’.

David Nelson, 65, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia seven years ago.

He was told at the time that he only had five years to live but he continues to battle on in a bid to spend as much time as possible with his five children, 13 grandchildren and his great-grandson.

Mr Nelson, a former pipe welder at Sellafield, wanted to publicly thank the team of doctors and nurses at the oncology unit at Furness General Hospital.

He said: “I would not be here if it wasn’t for them, they saved my life.

“I feel very grateful to still be here today.”

When Mr Nelson was first diagnosed with leukaemia, he was given just five years to live.

Seven year later, Mr Nelson said he feels ‘very lucky’ to be alive.

“I’ve learned to be appreciate every single day I’m still here,” he said.

“I’m so grateful to wake up every day and spend time with my grandkids.”

Mr Nelson raised £1,000 for the oncology ward by embarking on a charity challenge.

He said: “I can’t run or take part in an exercise challenge so decided to give my hair to those with cancer.

“Some of them aren’t going to reach the age of 18 - it’s awful.

“You don’t actually realise how many people have cancer until you’re in an oncology ward.

“It really opens your eyes.

“It’s a horrible thing for anyone to go through, especially at a younger age.”

Mr Nelson said the nursing team at Furness General Hospital were ‘absolutely brilliant’.

He said: “Everyone went out of their way to look after me.

“They definitely deserve some public recognition of some kind or a pay rise.

“They’re the true heroes.”

Mr Nelson is urging others diagnosed with terminal cancer to ‘keep fighting’.

“My advice is to keep fighting for as long as you can,” he said.

“You never know when your last day may be.”