A BRAVE fan who battled to beat kidney cancer has told how Frodsham-born superstar Gary Barlow helped her draw a line under her nightmare.
For more than three months Janet Johns, of Crewe, fought the disease, having her kidney removed to stop the cancer spreading.
Now, after being a dedicated fan of Take That for decades, the 54-year-old enjoyed a special VIP seat at a sold out concert in Manchester after winning tickets donated by Gary Barlow himself.
Janet, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March after doctors found a tumour in her kidney, was devastated when the website crashed as she was trying to secure tickets for the band’s Progress tour.
But during her first trip out following the operation to Frodsham Charity Music Festival, Janet was delighted to see that a pair of tickets had been donated for auction by lead singer Gary Barlow.
“I couldn’t believe it when they were up for auction, it was like it was fate. I decided I was going to get those tickets, I did have a limit but I just kept bidding.
“People must have thought I was a fanatic, but it was just really important for me to go and see them after everything.
“It was such a shock when I got the tickets and to think that all the money went to the hospice who do such a good job helping cancer patients just makes it so much more special.”
Janet spent almost £500 on the two VIP tickets and after weeks of waiting travelled to Manchester with her husband Brian for the concert.
And when she got there she was delighted The Chronicle had arranged a special surprise – a signed programme from the group which she says she will treasure forever.
“Getting the signed programme was just so special, it was the icing on the cake. It was an amazing night, everyone was on their feet out there - it was so exciting.
“This whole thing has really changed me. You look at your life and the things that mattered before; car, job, and money don’t seem so important anymore. What matters is family and living every day to the full.”
Janet, who works for computer company IBM, is the road to recovery but will need to have check-ups every year to see the cancer hasn’t returned.
“I just have to hope that it doesn’t come back, maybe it will, but for now I am just going to live for today.”