Former marine Rian Illet said he has "laid everything bare" in the book, hoping it will help others facing adversity (Picture: Brain Tumour Research).
Royal Marines

Fighting demons, Jihadis and terminal cancer: former Royal Marine writes memoir

Rian Ilett, 33, served in the military for 15 years and was given less than 18 months to live when doctors discovered a tumour.

Former marine Rian Illet said he has "laid everything bare" in the book, hoping it will help others facing adversity (Picture: Brain Tumour Research).

A former Royal Marine fighting terminal brain cancer has published a book detailing his battlefield and brain tumour experiences.

In March 2019, 33-year-old Rian Ilett was given less than 18 months to live when doctors discovered an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in his front right temporal lobe.

The shock diagnosis came just months after he was hit by an anti-tank missile in an ISIS attack in the Middle East.

Mr Ilett, who served in the military for 15 years, had an operation to reduce the size of the tumour in March 2019.

The operation was successful but the biopsy results revealed the aggressive nature of the tumour and Mr Ilett was given just a year to 15 months to live. 

"I didn't let it get me down," he said. "What choice did I have but to just get on with it?"

Now, nearly three years on from the diagnosis, Mr Ilett has shared his unique journey in his book 'Every Day Is A Battle: Fighting demons, Jihadis and terminal cancer'.

In March 2019, Mr Ilett was given less than 18 months to live (Picture: Brain Tumour Research).

After COVID-19 hit the UK, Mr Illett was told to stay at home to shield and so he started putting pen to paper.

"Having never even read a book before, I embarked upon writing a memoir," he said.

"The idea came from people close to me, who encouraged me to write about my many and varied experiences.

"I really enjoyed the process."

In December, about 21 months after he first started writing, his book was released on Amazon.

Its main theme is about overcoming adversity and Mr Ilett said he "laid everything bare" in the hope it will help others. 

Mr Ilett receiving treatment with support from Royal Marine colleagues (Picture: Brain Tumour Research).

"I saw too many people in the cancer treatment centre who seemed to have given up on life," he said.

"My main message is that even when the odds are stacked against you, a positive mindset goes a long way.

"Despite being told I should have been dead more than a year ago, I am still here to tell this tale."

Mr Ilett is also working with the Brain Tumour Research charity, helping to raise awareness. 

Brain Tumour Research's community development manager Mel Tiley said she is not surprised Mr Ilett's book has received "such positive feedback".

"Rian's brain tumour diagnosis is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of the disease," she said. "It can affect anyone, at any time. 

"We thank Rian sincerely for working with us to help raise awareness of brain tumours and the issues surrounding the disease," she added.