A former Kingston and St Helier hospitals junior doctor has left an 'extraordinary legacy' following a nearly two-year battle with skin cancer.

Mark Sims, 28, who died last January, is having his book posthumously published by his family after his diagnosis five days before his 27th birthday in February 2015.

Now, after fundraising for Cancer Research UK from his bed with an original £1,000 target, that figure has now reached above £200,000 with its proceeds will be donated to the charity.

His mother Sue Sims, 58, who is publishing it through her own company Poetry Space, said: “He loved life, he loved people. He loved loads of people around him that seemed to be the main thing about Mark. [He was] very, very sociable.

“Mark wanted it to raise awareness, really, of cancer and melanoma generally, and really to put a positive message out there that you can live well and fully with cancer.

“He had been writing a blog all the way through the illness and then eight months later he said, ‘I’d quite like to turn this into a book’. So I helped him a bit with the structure of that and he added extra material as well going back to when he was 15, because at 15 he had his original, primary, diagnosis of melanoma.

“So he felt it was important to go back and tell the story from then as well.”

Dr Sims, who lived in Raynes Park, was at St Helier Hospital from August 2014 until July 2015, with a stop in between following the diagnosis, while completing one month at Kingston Hospital later in August of that year.

His book, ‘PS I Have Cancer’, talks about his 23-month battle with the disease, his aims to raise awareness and funds for research, as well as unexpectedly finding love with fiancée Georgie Latcham while working through his bucket list.

He was diagnosed with advanced skin cancer and died from malignant melanoma which was caused by a genetic fault that has also affected other relatives in his family, including his three brothers – Dave, 30, Paul, 31, and Matthew, 33.

Dr Sims' father Chris, 61, has also had cancer due to the genetic fault, as well as his grandmother Marion, while his late aunt Julia Mabey died of pancreatic cancer at 56 because of the defective gene.

Mum Mrs Sims added: “I think it is, hopefully, going to continue raising awareness of cancer generally, giving people a positive message in particular about the new treatments out there. Because several years ago there would have been hardly any treatments for malignant melanoma at all, but now there are some new treatments.

“I think it will continue giving that message of hope that there is treatment out there, we can fight this, and eventually there will be a cure.”

Dr Sims won the Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Ambassador of the Year Award, in 2016, for his work with the charity.

Lynn Daly, of Cancer Research UK, said: “As a doctor, Mark knew his time was limited the minute he was re-diagnosed with skin cancer.

"Mark achieved so much in two years under the very worst of circumstances. He was a very brave and generous man and has left an extraordinary legacy for which the charity is enormously grateful."

To see the book, click here.

To see the JustGiving page, click here.