About me

liamryan_1418211964_09In early 2002 I was an architect in a little town in Ireland, with my wife Pam and our three boys, Christy, Lowell and Abe. I had never been ill and had run 6 marathons.
I was never destined to one day write a book and possess one of the greatest cancer survivor stories there has ever been.
But then, in April that year, I began to get headaches…………………….

I have now gone on to become one of the greatest cancer survivors of all time. Diagnosed with one of the worst cases of Head & Neck cancer ever seen, I simply had no chance.
My initial consultant told me I was the second worse case he had ever seen.
The worst case was dead in a month.
Very few hospitals in the world, he said, could offer any hope to a case like mine. He told me he expected I simply had weeks to live.
Eventually, impressed by my acceptance of my situation and my fighting spirit, Prof. Simon Rogers and his team in Liverpool decided to offer me a chance. Simon has since admitted to me, that in Liverpool nobody really believed I would make it either. But they wanted to give me a chance.

The problem with serious Head & Neck cancer is the treatment required is so extreme, it will generally put you in the grave before the cancer gets to. To survive the operation itself would have been a huge achievement. Beyond that anything would have been a bonus. Everything in my head was at risk. I was likely to lose my sight, my speech, my hearing, my mobility, my brain function or the most likely scenario of all was some combination of all 5. But none of that mattered then. I just wanted to alive. If I was alive he was winning, and cancer was losing.
I underwent a massive life threatening 12 hour operation, followed by 7 weeks of extensive chemo-radiotherapy. But then I nearly died all over again in recovery with two separate bouts of bacterial meningitis and a deep vein thrombosis. I was in hospital for 4 months. After which, especially with the setbacks, I simply had no business still being alive. 

All of that was an amazing 16 years ago! My survival, by itself, is a miracle but it has now been surpassed many times over by the extent of my incredible recovery. In 2012, on the 10th anniversary, I wanted to draw an end of the amazing survival and recovery part of this story so I ran my first marathon, post-cancer, and wrote a book. I wrote it as the book I went looking for myself 10 years earlier.
A book, written by somebody ordinary, about all the things that go through your head as you face into a major cancer diagnosis, right up to living and dying. A book without false promises, or false hope about what lies ahead. But a book that tells how I adopted the role of making myself the best patient I could be and never gave up to give myself the best possible chance.
I knew that a big part of that chance was that I had no fear and the fight became everything, no matter what the final outcome was to be. If I was to go I wanted to be able to clench my fist on deathbed and say it had been through no fault on my part.
Without that spirit, I would not have survived. So it is a book, given the initial diagnosis, and than the final outcome, that has now gone on to encourage and inspire many cancer patients, right around the world. There are very few cases worse than mine, and probably none at this stage, that have survived so well, for so long.

18 years on, after being given a month to live, I am working, running and living a full life again. It is almost as if, apart from my eyepatch I never had cancer.
My consultants are simply amazed. They have told me, 16 years on, I am one of the greatest cancer survivors in the world. I have become the living proof for everybody, that nothing is for certain.
I now believe that with this amazing second life comes an obligation to tell this story to as many people as I can. That is why this website has been created.
I know from my own case, the power of the inspiration that comes from somebody who has already done what you now need to do. Especially somebody as ordinary as I am. I have had contact from cancer patients all over the world and the greatest of them say “I was giving up until I read your story”.
That is what this story can do now.

I have been given the chance to live again, so that I can die better.



Senior Executive Architect at Tipperary County Council, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland – 2016 to present

Ryan Teese Architects, Ballina/Killaloe, Co. Tipperary, Ireland – 1998 to 2016 R.I.A.I. Architect

Projects – New Stadium for Athlone Town Football Club, The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Ballina/Killaloe

Franklin Stafford Partnership, Liverpool, England1987 – 1997Assistant Architect/Project Architect

Projects – Project Architect for The Beatles Story Museum., Liverpool’s only museum to the Beatles.

Cancer 4, Me 5, after extra-time.

I ended up writing the book I went looking for myself 10 years earlier. An account by somebody ordinary of all the things that go through your head when faced with one of the worst cancer diagnosis ever seen. It has been warmly received in countries all over the world.


I can only open my mouth half an inch but yet can speak perfectly. I feel therefore I almost have wonderful obligation, as part of my second life, to tell this story and use it to inspire and encourage as many people as I can.

I have spoken in schools, universities, at business conferences, medical conferences, to cancer patients and I have featured on national radio and television in the U.S., Ireland and England
I do not charge to tell this story. How could I do that. I am only too glad to still be here to be in a position to give something back. To still be here to have turned this incredible story completely on its head. It was given to me, but it is for everybody.


I have fundraised directly for individual cancer patients and cancer treatment hospital where I can. It is an area that tends to be predominately covered by the major charities but if anybody considered my story could be helpful to a suitable cause, I would be happy to hear from them.


I have always been an amateur runner and the mindset that running gives you became a huge asset to my cancer fight.

I still run regularly and have completed 6 marathons before cancer


And perhaps the greatest one of all, one post-cancer marathon – DINGLE 2012.

I would like to think I might still run a few more!