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12 Jan 2022

Living life to the full

With so much stacked against him, Andy Genders is taking things one day at a time  

My name is Andy Genders, I am 55 years old and I currently own a Gen 1 991 C4S. I am married to Tricia and we have just celebrated 30 years of married life. I previously owned a 996 C4S, which was my first foray into Porsche ownership. The 996 and 991 are both awesome cars – both different in their own way, but both delivering the Porsche brand in bucketloads and it has hooked me.

The 996 gave me 30,000 miles of European tours, West Country drives and a large bill for five years of ownership. I had not considered the running costs of a nearly 20-year-old car that had been neglected over time, but going with heart over mind meant returning it to near-pristine glory, courtesy of Johnny and his team at Precision Porsche. The 996 is a raw car compared to the 991, but they both provide the pure Porsche experience. After a long think, I decided it was time to upgrade and found the 991 at Porsche Centre Mid-Sussex. One test drive later, I was smitten and I have covered 7000 miles of pure joy in nearly eight months of ownership. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, I am still planning a European tour.
So why read my story? Six weeks ago, I was enjoying life to the max on holiday in Cornwall. I was just another individual going through life but, within the space of three days, my world was turned upside down.
I woke on a Thursday morning to a numb left hand and a slightly tingling sensation in my neck. I put this down to an ongoing lower back strain I have had for years. I was not worried, and the feeling started to come back into my hand over a couple of days. This was nothing new for me, as the problems with my back had been with me for a long time. Then I noticed that I had trouble feeling the indicator stalk on the long drive back home from Cornwall to Sussex.
On Sunday, I decided to call 111 and seek some advice. They suggested that I should go to A&E, so I spent nearly eight hours there waiting to understand the situation. With blood tests and so on coming back normal, I ended up having a CT scan.
People joke that when you’re in an A&E cubicle and a doctor comes in, you sort of assume everything is okay. That was me, and I was looking forward to going home. But when two consultants turn up, draw the curtain, and suggest my wife should come in straight away, you get scared of the next words. They stayed with me and I honestly thought they were going to tell me I had had a stroke. How wrong I was. Tricia arrived 15 minutes later, and this is where my world imploded…
“We are sorry to tell you, Mr Genders, but the scan results show some masses in your brain over the right hemisphere. You have a brain tumour, which is likely to be cancerous and is inoperable…”
I asked to be allowed to go home and was obviously totally devastated at this news. Very quickly, I was back in hospital for a full MRI and follow-up scans, and then had to wait a week for the final results. A biopsy followed, then eight days in hospital.
I have GBM4 – Glioblastoma Multiforme – right in the centre of my head, affecting my mobility. It is indeed inoperable and incurable. I became unable to walk unaided, only being able to use a wheelchair initially. I am unable to shower, go to the toilet or generally experience the basic, human, dignified aspects of daily living.
My life expectancy is 12-18 months at best. Having had time to understand and come to terms with my diagnosis, it’s okay. I knew that I would die anyway at some stage in the future. I was just not expecting it so soon.
So where am I today? Making it through every day, the best way I know how. I have one life, so I will live it – I won’t give into this and will fight all the way. I firmly feel that strength of mind is what makes me a winner. I am walking again – the doctors don’t know why or how, but I am – and the wheelchair is a back-up solution.
I have daily chemotherapy and have just finished a 15-day cycle of radiotherapy. I feel fighting fit and have no side symptoms from this, chemo or radiotherapy, which is amazing. I fight on. Emotionally, I have accepted the outcome, but insurance companies want to know how long I have to live before they pay out and that makes it so real and pulls me back to what is actually happening. It would be nice to be treated with dignity and respect. I am a person, not a number in a system somewhere.
I have had a very good life, got lucky with work and lived well, and I feel it’s time I gave something back. While I am able to do so, I will continue to promote Macmillan and its work. It’s not just about research; it is so much more. A nurse to help in a dark hour, a person to talk to, a place to be welcomed, a place to belong and a place to not be ignored, a place to be treated like a human being. That’s all I want.
I have ‘braved the shave’ and moved onto cars and coffee mornings within our local community. On 18 September, more than 100 guests and members from R23 (thanks to Christine for her help and to Porsche Centre Mid-Sussex for providing some great raffle prizes) attended one of the cars and coffee mornings and we raised £1400 for Macmillan. We made it to the Porsche Festival at Brands Hatch too.
I remain optimistic but realistic about my future. I am a survivor and a fighter with a passion for life. I swim every other day, I play squash/racquetball for fitness, I enjoy all things car related and I have a new bike arriving soon. All of this is enabling me to have as normal a life as possible. I am still here, but with a new perspective; every day is the first day of the rest of my life.
Andy has raised nearly £9000 for Macmillan so far and he is hoping to raise even more. If you would like to support his fundraising efforts, his JustGiving page can be found at

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