A BROMSGROVE man is facing a race against time to raise £150,000 to pay for a potentially life-saving cancer treatment.
Stuart Brookes, who is 30 and used to be a personal trainer for David Lloyd Gym, was given 18 months to live after being diagnosed with metastatic myxoid liposarcoma – a rare cancer which affects soft connective tissues – at the end of last year.
Stuart’s friends Tom Genders and Julia Gross, who he used to work with, have organised a charity auction on April 3 at the Hilton in Bromsgrove, which has given the Elgar Suite for the evening to help the cause.
The funds raised will go towards paying for Stuart to take part in a trial testing a unique treatment in Washington, as there is nothing similar available in the UK.
The theory is the body will recognise the cancer as a disease and fight it itself – Stuart believes this trip is his last hope.
Anyone wanting to support Stuart’s cause at the auction can bid in advance, in person, over the phone or, if plans go right, live online.
Tom said they already had several experience days and half a dozen pieces of original art to auction as well as smaller lots for the raffle but they still needed donations which could be included in the event.
Stuart was first diagnosed in 2012 after he found a lump behind his right knee which doctors originally mistakenly thought was a pulled muscle.
It later grew to the size of a fist before he was sent for a five-week course of radiotherapy. He then had an operation, in March, 2013, to remove the tumour.
Stuart said everything was fine for the next nine months until he noticed lumps on his left leg and upper back which after tests were revealed as cancer.
After further examinations Stuart was told he had 18 months to live because he had stage four cancer which had spread to his hip, spine and pelvis.
Stuart contacted Robin Jones, a professor at the division of medical oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle, who explained to him the current trials being carried out in the US. But due to the fact Stuart is not a US citizen he has to pay for the treatment himself.
Stuart has planned his first US treatment trip for later this month.
When he was told he had just 18 months to live, Stuart has started a new more intense round of radiotherapy with a new specialist team and changed his diet to a special low-sugar diet to try and starve the cancer cells.
Tom said: “He did not want to give up – he just wants to try everything he can to give himself a chance.
“And we want to do what we can to help him.”
Admission to the auction is free but to guarantee a spot people can book a seat for £2 per person – tables seat up to 12 people.
To book a table or to donate a lot e-mail Tom email@example.com for more.
Visit http://www.supportstuart.co.uk/ for more on the fund-raising campaign.
Tom Genders and Julia Gross holding a picture of their friend Stuart Brookes. (s)