A BROADCAST engineer who has worked alongside Samuel L Jackson on cancer videos was devastated when he was found to have the disease.

But rather than feel sorry for himself Stephen, from Great Wakering and his easyJet employee friend Sarah Beck decided to support a fundraising initiative alongside the airline and Southend Airport.

Passengers flying with easyJet from Southend will be given the chance to help save lives by donating leftover currency.

easyJet has teamed up with charities, Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK with cabin crew flying out of Southend Airport hosting on board collections throughout October.

Stephen, 57, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March.

He was shooting a video about testicular cancer with actor Samuel L. Jackson at the Royal Marsden Hospital when he was invited to film a Da Vinci robotic assisted prostatectomy where he also learned about prostate-specific antigen tests.

After five years of on and off testing, he was devastated to find he had been diagnosed with the disease.

He said “it was a hell of a blow” when he heard the news.

His friend, Sarah Beck, 42 from Great Wakering supported Stephen throughout his treatment.

He underwent a successful Da Vinci robotic assisted prostatectomy weeks after his diagnosis and was thankfully told the cancer was maintained within his prostate.

Sarah has now become a a charity community champion and he will be partnering with easyJet and their two elected charities to raise funds.

She said: “Passengers will definitely want to donate to these two charities.

“It’s so close to home and breast cancer and prostate cancer have touched pretty much everybody.”

The money raised by passengers and crews will help both charities fund their research into prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast and prostate cancer, which could also turn saving the lives of women and men across the UK.

Angela Culhane, chief executive at Prostate Cancer UK said: “It’s fantastic to be embarking on this journey with easyJet and Breast Cancer Now.

“This team effort will help us to make life-saving differences, and we’re truly grateful for the opportunity.

“Every 45 minutes one man dies of prostate cancer in the UK, that’s over 47,000 lives lost each year alone.

“With the support of easyJet staff and passengers we can spread awareness and fund vital research into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease, helping to stop prostate cancer from being a killer.”

The collections will take place on easyJet flights until October 21 and then from October 29 to November 18.

Cabin services director Tina Milton said: “As a pan-European airline we have a fantastic opportunity to help make a real difference, raise awareness and support the vital work that both of these organisations do.

“This partnership has been made possible by our fantastic crew, some of who have been affected by prostate and breast cancer and are incredibly passionate about the great work these charities do.”