A YOUNG woman today vowed to devote her life to battling cancer.
Gemma Wrigley, 23, of Badger Hill, Rastrick, plans to study for a master's degree and work in medical research - with the aim of eradicating cancer.
And she has a very poignant reason for doing so, having watched her father, David, battle against breast cancer.
In 2003, Mr Wrigley, 53, was diagnosed with a disease which affects fewer than 300 men each year.
Thankfully, surgery and chemotherapy have helped him fight the disease and he is now an ardent support of cancer care and charities.
But his daughter is taking things even further, embarking not only on the degree course at Newcastle University next summer but also taking part in a four-year worldwide trail to monitor the progress of a possible cervical cancer vaccine.
She said: "When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and my grandad died of the disease, I knew I had to do something.
"I want to do my bit to fight cancer. I want to be there when they find how it can be beaten".
Gemma, who works in a local bank, told how her father broke the news of his illness just before Christmas, 2003.
She said: "I was working at the UCI Cinema and the manager said my father was on the phone. I knew before he said anything that he had cancer, as I had seen my grandad and an aunt die of it.
"Because dad always had lumps and bumps he had thought nothing more about the growth in his chest. He didn't want to make a fuss, but the GP recommended him for a referral.
"I was in the middle of preparing a dissertation for my course on breast cancer at Bradford University.
"I never knew men could get breast cancer. I thought it was something that only affected women."
The news shocked David's wife, Sheila, and his son, Andrew, 27, as well as other relatives and friends.
Mr Wrigley, who works at Jewson in Leeds Road, Huddersfield, had treatment at the Royal Infirmary. And he was full of praise for the breast cancer nurse.
"She was great. She treated me as an individual, rather than just another patient. That can make all the difference if you're feeling isolated.
"There is no difference between men and women with breast cancer, but there is a difference in the way they are treated.
"Breast cancer material is aimed at women, so anything that recognises that men can get the condition is to be applauded."
After surgery and chemotherapy Mr Wrigley is on a course of Tamoxifen and is back at work.
He and Gemma took part in a 10-kilometre run, raising money for cancer research.
And he has worked with Breast Cancer Care, producing a guide on breast cancer for men.
Gemma added: "Dad's fighting spirit has inspired me.
"I was fed up feeling bad about cancer. Life is for living and that's what we and other affected families are trying to do.