David’s book, A Mild Touch of the Cancer is due for release on 12 August. It is a frank, open account of his struggle, from diagnosis through to the end of his therapy in the US. It’s also very very funny.

David is playing a lead role with the Malaghan Institute who are trying to bring the CAR-T Cell therapy to NZAll the proceeds from the book will be going to the Malaghan Institute and to Blood Cancer NZ.

“I’ll start in the middle, where the cancer has started, right in the guts…”

And so begins businessman, comedian, author – and cancer survivor – David Downs’ remarkable book A Mild Touch of the Cancer.

Contrary to the book’s title, David had lymphoma and it was terminal. But A Mild Touch of the Cancer isn’t your standard ‘how I survived’ compendium. It is a hilarious tale, written while battling one of life’s greatest challenges. It’s a book about living with optimism and positivity, by a self-proclaimed Genetically Modified Organism.

David’s book documents a year of gruelling treatment, which at one point nearly made him sell his house in order to raise the necessary $1M for trial CAR-T cell treatment in Boston, US. It was this treatment that saved his life. An unexpected pioneer in genetic engineering, David is now instrumental in assisting Wellington’s Malaghan Institute to begin trials of CAR-T cell therapy in New Zealand.

David’s utterly self-effacing, eye-opening disclosure and ever-positive narrative pulls us in from the get-go and has us laughing and cheering from the side-lines.  A Mild Touch of the Cancer includes guest sections by some of NZ’s most well -known comedians, including Jeremy Corbett, Michele A’Court and Paul Ego, and an introduction by kiwi expat and TV star Phil Keoghan.


It’s not just a book for those living with cancer – it’s for anyone that enjoys an uplifting story of survival against the odds – and a good laugh.

David is donating all profits from the book to the charities Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ (http://leukaemia.org.nz), and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s ‘Down With Cancer’ campaign (http://downwithcancer.nz)

A Mild Touch of the Cancer by David Downs will be published on 12 August by Bakita BooksRRP $39.95



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