A teenager helped save her father’s life after asking him help her study for her GCSE biology exam.

Alice Jenkyn, 17, was struggling to remember where her lymph nodes were when dad Jonathan showed them out on his neck.

The pair then noticed a small lump that had never been there before, which was later diagnosed as cancerous.

The father-of-five, from Ipswich, Suffolk, was swiftly put through intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy for six weeks before being given the all clear.

But doctors warned that if he hadn’t caught the lump as such an early stage, he probably wouldn’t have lived to see in 2020.

Jonathan said: ‘It was literally a luck of the draw that we picked the lymphatic system to cover that evening, and I’m extremely glad that I helped her on that day with her schoolwork.



‘I often help my kids with their revision and homework but this was really lucky.

‘Alice struggles with science which I did quite well in, but it was pure luck that we happened to be studying something that would lead to discovering the lump.’

Doctors diagnosed Jonathan, 43, with metastatic oropharyngeal carcinoma and found a growing tumour below his jaw.

He underwent treatment throughout the summer and last week received the good news that he is now cancer-free.

The IT security consultant added: ‘I was told if I had not have spotted the lump I wouldn’t have seen the New Year.

‘It really is quite crazy that a bit of revision with my daughter became the reason I survived an illness as serious as cancer.’

Jonathan said at first he thought it was just an inflamed lymph node but he was so pleased he got it properly checked out.

Daughter Alice added: ‘I didn’t expect my revision to have such a huge effect on our lives, and I feel guilty about not noticing the lump myself but I’m so happy we found it.

‘It’s great that he’s better and back at home, it was really difficult to see him so ill and the seriousness really hit me hard when I found myself feeding my dad – but it’s nothing he hasn’t done for me in the past.



‘We’re just happy that he’s ok, and of course that I passed the science exam.’

Jonathan has been fundraising and so far has raised over £2,000, which will be donated to the radiotherapy department at Ipswich hospital to make improvements for future patients.

He quipped: ‘I suppose the biggest lesson to take from this is to always help your kids with the GCSE revision.’

To donate to Jonathan’s fundraiser click here: