A COUPLE are facing a fight to find £50,000 worth of funding for cancer treatment drugs which are not paid for by the NHS.
Chris Winters was diagnosed with borderline operable pancreatic cancer and, since then, has endured various procedures, along with a hard core regime of chemotherapy in a bid to shrink the tumor so surgery would become an option.
Unfortunately, on June 2, Chris and wife Lyn were left devastated when their hopes for successful surgery were dashed. The surgical team concluded it was too dangerous to continue.
Chris knew his only chance of buying time would be palliative chemotherapy so he and his two close friends researched drugs trials and got in touch with a professor who offered to give a second opinion. Again the hopes of surgery at this stage were dashed, although a drugs regime was recommended and Chris’ oncologist agreed on that course of treatment.
But, the couple were then told the recommended course was not funded by the NHS for the stage of cancer that Chris was at.
And the private medical insurance they had also initially refused the funding on the basis that if the NHS would not fund it, the company would not either.
But, with the oncologist’s support, help from Chris’ company and pure tenacity, the private medical firm agreed to pay until the pair’s entitlement runs out in October.
Lyn said: “After that we have nowhere to go.
“It seems incredible to me that the system would pay for procedures, consultations, chemotherapy, surgery then stop and potentially let someone die because there isn’t funding for this course of treatment at this stage of Chris’s cancer.”
The couple are now hoping to find £50,000 and are appealing for any local businesses, individuals, groups or organisations which can help to come forward.
“We also believe in positive energy and urge all of your readers to THINK SHRINK to support pancreatic cancer patients.” addded Lyn.
Chris and Lyn are also trying to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer as the statistics surrounding it are quite shocking.
Only three per cent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for five years – a rate that has not changed in more than 40 years.
The average life expectancy after diagnosis is four to six months and only 11 per cent are diagnosed in time to have surgery – the only cure for the disease.
Despite being the 5th highest cancer killer in the UK, it receives only one per cent of research funding.
And 22 people die from pancreatic cancer in Britain every day.
Bev Nibs is leading the campaign to find the £50,000 for Chris’ drugs.
Anyone who can help with funding should call Bev on 01527 882588 or 07894 428081 or pop in and see her at the Fresh Laundry Ltd, 144 Aston Fields, Bromsgrove.