A 63-year-old was diagnosed with cancer just days after the disease killed his dad—yet he has now been crowned a bodybuilding world champion after beating the illness, and thanks his estranged father for the epic timing that saved him.
Only after he was raised by his grandmother, did Denton Wilson meet his estranged birth father Benjamin Wilson for the first time. Just two weeks after getting to know each other, however, Benjamin died of prostate cancer, which prompted Denton, in his early 40s, to get himself checked out as a precaution.
To his horror, Denton was also diagnosed with the condition and warned he could only have a matter of weeks to live.
He underwent surgery to remove his diseased prostate and then took up bodybuilding to regain his strength. Now, 20 years on and a grandfather himself, he has been crowned the over-60s bodybuilding champion at the world finals in Miami, Florida.
Denton, a former youth and community worker from Sheffield, said: “I was given a second chance at life. His death gave me life. At the time, I knew nothing at all about the disease and I was healthy.
“If I never met my dad then I would have been dead a long time ago,” he added. “It was a dream for me to meet him and his death saved my life.
“I set myself goals and set out on a dream to achieve. It was overwhelming to be the best in Britain so to become the best in the world is incredible.”
Denton was born in Jamaica and brought up by his grandmother, then moved to England to live with his mother when he was 9 years old. Upon discovering his father’s name, Denton “vowed” to one day return to Jamaica to track his dad down.
When Denton returned to his home country in 1997 and found his dad, he spent the next two weeks getting to know the 79-year-old before he learned that the man had prostate cancer. The day after he arrived back in the UK from the trip, he found out his dad had died.
“I saved up for a long time to go to Jamaica. It felt like a miracle to finally meet him. It was like finding the final piece in a jigsaw puzzle,” said Denton.
Denton said it was “devastating”, but it prompted him to get a check-up after his father’s funeral. Blood tests then revealed that Denton – who was only 42 years old – had an “aggressive” form of prostate cancer and required urgent life-saving treatment,.
“I felt angry. I was angry at God for letting me watch my father die,” he added. Then, when he found out about his own diagnosis, Denton added: “I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was going to die.
“I said I wanted time to think about my options but the doctor said ‘you don’t have time’. He said I was going to die.”
After surgery to remove his cancerous prostate in 1998, he took up bodybuilding in a bid to “come back stronger” and transformed his physique with a strict healthy eating regime and committed to three gym sessions a week.
He has since been crowned the British bodybuilding champion over 40s, over 50s and over 60s. His crowning glory came in November last year, when he was named the over 60s bodybuilding champion at the DFAC world finals in Miami, Florida.
“I worked hard to achieve my status and want to help other people to achieve,” said Denton. “I am so happy and so proud of myself. A lot of people die from cancer but I was given a second chance.”
Denton now wants to inspire others by sharing his experience and giving motivational talks on battling prostate cancer.
He has also written a book about his experiences called “A Man Dies Every Hour”.
Be Sure And Share This Heartwarming Story With Your Friends On Social Media