A MAN battling skin cancer was one of the first people in the country to be treated with a lifesaving ‘wonder drug’.

Father-of-two Richard Jackson, of Little Sutton, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2003 when a large mole was taken from the side of his chest.

For three years the deputy headteacher remained in remission, but in 2006 the cancer spread and despite several courses of chemotherapy, Mr Jackson remained in the grips of the disease.

Now after taking part in a trail for what doctors are hailing the new ‘wonder’ drug, the 42-year-old believes that he has outstripped statistics which say he should be dead.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Jackson described the way the four courses of Ipilimumab changed his life, and said: “I reacted badly, but my wife and I could see the moles receding almost overnight because the drug allowed my immune system to fight back.

“It has been a lifesaver. The statistics show I should not be here.”

Mr Jackson was treated using the drug, which is thought by doctors to give sufferers extra months or even years of life after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which affects more than 11,700 Britons every year.

In 2009 the teacher raised thousands of pounds to help other sufferers by holding a spring ball in aid of The Christie Hospital, where he was treated.