A GREAT granddad diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer has vowed to fight the disease.

Tom Shaw, from Rudheath, launched a walking challenge on his exercise machine and has already trebled his goal completing 15 miles in 42 days, raising £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 77-year-old believes having a positive attitude has given him the strength and perseverance to keep going.

Tom said: "When the doctor told me I was going to die I said: 'Aren't we all? It's a question of when.' He just couldn't believe my attitude!"

The dad-of-four has suffered from back pain for years and was diagnosed with a cancer virtually unknown in the UK which had spread to his spine.

Following x-rays, scans and major back surgery, Tom embarked on treatment.

"After a week I saw the oncologist who gave me five months if I took the chemo pills," said Tom, who has two sons and two daughters, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

"Here I am after six months and, apart from weak muscles and being bald, I am feeling good and determined to prove him wrong.

"I just set myself targets all my life to achieve even if they are impossible."

Tom was born in Alan Street in Northwich and met his wife Pauline when he was 17 and she was 14. The couple celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary next month.

"One of the reasons for our successful marriage is that we have disagreements," he said. "But whichever way they go, five minutes later it's forgotten. We never let it hang."

Tom's career as a chartered electrical engineer has taken him all over the world as he built simulators for the Harrier Jump Jet, Concorde and Jaguar.

He served on the board of a Japanese company, worked in India, Pakistan, America, Saudi Arabia and Iran and ran his own companies.

Meeting people of different nationalities and cultures, he says, makes you realise how much we all have in common.

"I find that whatever their religion deep down they feel the same," he said.

Community life means the world to Tom who sang in the choir at St Helen's Church for 18 years and played cricket for Northwich.

When Witton Albion went into administration he helped to save the club and served as chairman for two years.

In his spare time he spent 20 years renovating a dilapidated smithy.

Since he became ill, Tom says he has been inundated with support.

"My wife Pauline has been fantastic alongside my family," he said. "My niece who recently had breast cancer has been absolutely brilliant keeping my spirits up, guiding me through what to expect at each stage.

"The Macmillan staff and NHS nurses at Salford and Leighton Hospitals have all been excellent.

"Every donation will not only motivate me to carry on but will support a worthwhile cause which will help local people living with cancer when they need it most."

To support Tom's fundraising efforts visit justgiving.com/Tom-Shaw-1941.