I always wanted to be a father, so when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer my head filled with worry - I immediately questioned myself: does this mean I won't be able to have children and build a family? The thoughts I had were inevitable.
Following my diagnosis I had surgery to remove the testicle, everything was running smoothly until I went for a follow-up test which showed the cancer had spread and I had a tumour on my lymph nodes. I had radiotherapy and then I found a lump on the other testicle which meant I also had to have that one removed. After surgery I was put on a form of chemotherapy called cisplatin which Cancer Research UK helped to develop. The chemotherapy worked very well and since then I have received the all clear. It was a rocky few years but I was treated so well, I always had hope that everything was going to be ok.
Throughout all of this, my wife and I knew we had to think about our future and having a family so we had to go through various procedures for the possibility of her having IVF.
In 2005, my lovely wife Rachel fell pregnant, we couldn't believe it. The following year our miracle daughter Keira was born, she was beautiful, our hearts were filled with joy. A few years down the line we had our little boy Daniel, after going through so much our family finally felt complete.
I can't put into words how much it means to me to be a dad. I have so much fun with the kids, we're always laughing and smiling when we are together. They might be my kids but they are my best friends too - I think it's so important to have this type of relationship with them. All of the moments we have together are so special. I remember so clear my dad teaching me how to ride a bike and now it's my turn to teach them.
Father's Day is always such a precious day for me. Each year the kids give me cards with personal jokes in them and they buy me something small but special. I wouldn't be the father I am without Rachel though, she is a wonderful wife who has supported me through everything. I feel so lucky to be a father to the kids and a husband to Rachel.
I'm writing this post because I have been through so much but I am an extremely proud dad. If it wasn't for the work of Cancer Research UK I might not be able to say this. I am so thankful and appreciative to those who support the charity and hope that my story will inspire people to continue supporting such a worthwhile cause.
Alim is supporting Cancer Research UK's 'Right Now' campaign to beat cancer sooner. Visit cruk.orgSuggest a correction