Our lives changed forever on 1 September 2020 when Did, my husband and father to three beautiful children, Dylan, Lydia and Sydney was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Now we need as much help as we can get to raise an estimated £150,000 for pioneering treatment in Germany so we can spend more time with Did. We are desperate for this treatment which can extend his life – we all want as much time as possible and he wants to be able to spend more time being an amazing husband, an incredible father and a great friend to so many people.
On 14 August Did was playing badminton with his daughter Lydia and noticed a flicker in his eye. He initially put this down to dehydration on a very hot day. But across the coming days, a dull feeling developed in his head and the flicker in his eye didn’t go away. A visit to the doctors diagnosed migraines but as the symptoms continued for two weeks we visited A&E.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, he went in alone. He was on his own at 6 pm when the unfortunate news was confirmed. This turned his life and our whole world upside down. We were devastated as a family.
The doctors did have a plan. Within a week he underwent surgery to remove the tumour at Hull Royal Infirmary – the staff were incredible - and within two days he was home fighting to get to full fitness. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblastoma; this is the most aggressive form of brain cancer and the statistics are not good. At best we could hope for maybe 12-18 months. Without surgery, we’d have lost him in less than six months. We are not prepared to accept these statistics as every person's journey through diagnosis is different.
Did has undergone six weeks of intensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the next stage is six cycles of chemotherapy for five days every month. After week 3 of chemo and radio had started, we were embarking on a new trial down in London that would have started within 2 weeks of finishing chemo, but unfortunately Did was not eligible, this at the time was heartbreaking as we had high hopes for the Ipiglio trial. The standard 6 weeks of treatment with 6 cycles of chemo is not enough to try and extend Did life.
We set out by researching and reading other stories of people in the same situation and joining groups, to find something that has the chance of slowing down this disease and giving Did the chance to make memories with family and friends with a quality of life.
We found treatment at a clinic in Germany, it is a ground-breaking new treatment which creates personalised immune therapy and strengthens the patients own immune system and activates against new cancer cell growth, as well as giving the best possible quality of life. Consultants we spoke to in this country were behind us in moving forward, other options we looked at in the UK were not suitable.
The results of the initial trial are really positive and are extending the overall survival rate for people like Did – this will give us all more precious time together as a family.
Unfortunately, the treatment has yet to be approved, so we would need to fund the whole treatment for Did ourselves, the cost of this will be an initially around £150,000 - this is a huge amount for any family to find, and our reason for reaching out for help and support for Did and his family.
We’ve already received some amazing help from Did colleagues at his work Phillips 66 and with this money, we are self-funding the first consultation in January. Sadly, we will quickly run out of savings so are asking people to help us keep Did in our lives for as long as possible.
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