The West

Mark Chopper Read diagnosed with Cancer
Mark "Chopper" Read tweeted the news that he'd been given only weeks to live after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Mark "Chopper" Read tweeted in April the news that he is suffering from liver cancer with initial fears he only had weeks to live.

He informed his Twitter followers of his diagnosis together with an apology for not having been active on the website recently.

Doctors had found four tumours on his liver some said he may have about six years to live if he is given the right care.

Read's health troubles began in 2009 after he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. He refused a liver transplant at the time, saying "I'm not going to ask for a liver transplant, it's not fair. I'm 55 years old; I'm not going to put my name down against some 10-year-old kid."

Read became famous after a movie based on his life, Chopper, came out in 2000. Most of his life had been spent in jail, spending on 13 months on the outside between the ages of 20 and 38.

He was convicted of armed robbery, assault, kidnapping a judge, arson, impersonating a police officer and attempted murder.

Read has also been stabbed seven times, shot once, run over by a car, had a claw hammer embedded in his head, was made to dig his own grave and he cut off his ears so he could be transferred to a different prison.

During his incarceration, Read began writing a series of letters to journalist John Silvester after he wrote a derogatory story about him in a Melbourne newspaper. Silvester took the 300 letters Read wrote to him and turned them into a surprise hit novel.

Since then, Read has written 14 novels, including a children's book. In May, two weeks after learning of cancer, Read shot his last scenes in a Melbourne thriller, Pinball, where he plays himself.

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