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October 22, 2013

Medical bills mount for ‘fired’ teacher fighting cancer, HIV

English teacher and long-term resident of Tokyo Simon Grainger shows remarkable courage in the face of cancer and HIV, in spite of a less than sympathetic employer.

For information about upcoming events to support Grainger and raise money for several cancer charities, go to Additional information about Grainger’s case and coping with illness in Japan can be found at and

In the shower one day, long-term Tokyo resident Neil Grainger noticed that the birthmark on his back had changed color. Concerned, he went to the local clinic, but the doctor assured him it was nothing to worry about.

Three or four months later, the mole began to bleed. “I could only wear dark-colored shirts in case it bled during the day,” he says. “If I banged into something, I would get blood on my shirt.”

The 44-year-old Briton then went back to the doctor, and on July 17 last year, after undergoing a series of tests, he was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma.

Then, just a couple of days later, Grainger was dealt another huge blow.

“I got a phone call from the hospital on the Friday and they said, ‘You have got to come back in. We have done some blood tests and have found something else.’ So within three days I found out I was HIV-positive as well. I was diagnosed with cancer on the Wednesday and HIV on the Friday.”

On July 31 he was admitted to hospital and the tumor was removed. Around the same time, he also underwent a plastic-surgery operation where skin taken from his buttocks was grafted onto the area of his back where the cancerous tissue had been.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but [the tumor] was like an iceberg growing underneath. It was one of the largest-ever skin cancers taken from someone in Japan — over 5 cm in depth.”

Read the full post from The Japan Times.

Photo: Simon Scott/Japan Times

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I wish u all the best for ur fight u will win. :)

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