Huddersfield-born Nadio Granata is a chef turned marketing, PR and publishing guru who now lives on a house boat on the Thames. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with throat cancer. This is the first of his regular blogs charting his cancer journey.

Hi, I’m Nadio and I’ve got a story to tell. It’s not special and, sadly, neither is it unique. But it is relevant and hopefully uplifting, educational and helpful.

So, who am I and why is my story appearing on Huddersfield Hub?

I was born in February 1964 behind The Stag pub at Dalton, Huddersfield. I went to school in Huddersfield and learnt my first trade as a chef, in and around the town.

Some of you reading this will remember the Trattoria Alla Scala? The Sole Mio? Maybe even the Quo Vadis? They were my dad (Nino) and his partner, Mario’s restaurants where I started out.

By the age of 23, I set up Nadio’s Pizzas and Pastas at Paddock then opened a second site in Moldgreen about 7 years later. I sold these after I gained my Masters in Marketing from the University of Huddersfield

You might also have known me from the Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival which I co-founded some 22 years ago and more recently ‘re-acquired’ through the setting up of Huddersfield Live now run by the amazing Sam Watts.

I’ve travelled quite a bit in my time. By the age of 17 I’d already worked in Sardinia and soon after, Bali, Australia and then cycled from Huddersfield to southern Egypt and back – 12,000 miles, 17 countries and 13 months. I refer to it as my ‘Forest Gump’ phase!

Nadio Granata on another journey

But, this is all about another journey. One which I am on now and many reading this blog may be on too, or be in direct contact with someone who is on their cancer journey.

My particular journey started this Christmas. Let me set the scene.

After a long and very enjoyable career firstly in catering and then marketing, I made a life-changing decision to move to London some five and a half years ago. Like a modern day Dick Whittington, I arrived with little more than a bag of stuff and a lifelong ambition to conquer London.

I started out at a networking event in Shoreditch, got chatting to a PR consultant who kindly offered me a desk in her company in return for a share in a magazine I was thinking of producing. It was that simple. 

A week later, I was busy putting the magazine together and twelve weeks later, we published. 

Our launch event was sponsored by a global tech company and they invited me to work freelance with them. Within six months of arriving here, I was teaching part time at Leeds University Business School, consulting with Stafflex Recruitment (Huddersfield), publishing another magazine (freelance) and three days a week as a Marketing Director at a global tech firm. Phew! 

Speeding up, to where we are now, I ultimately created a new company, ICE, to deliver marketing consultancy services including PR, events and publishing to hi tech companies from my houseboat in Chiswick Marina. 

It all changed at Christmas.

On Christmas Day, I awoke with a sore throat and niggling cough. Over the next few days the sore throat became infected but by the end of January it seemed much better though I noticed a small lump appear next to my Adam’s Apple.

This blog is all about that lump and the journey I am now on to beat it. 

I hope you find it useful if not amusing, and please, do not be offended by my sarcasm and use of colourful language!

READ MORE: Meet another of Huddersfield Hub’s bloggers – Huddersfield ex-pat Brian Hayhurst who writes from Spain every week