A Grade 4 brain tumour has taken Kevin's driving licence, his job, his career and is trying to take his life.
Kevin is the most wonderful, kind, funny and thoughtful 35-year-old-man you could ever meet. I'm Natasha...the lucky one, I married him.
Kevin is a civil engineer, from Portglenone (N.Ireland) and is passionate about anything involving concrete, hard work, travelling and rugby. Kevin is a fit, ex-GAA player, and on the 15th July 2015 our world turned upside down. Out of the blue, Kevin took a number of seizures. Kevin was rushed to A&E and misdiagnosed with sudden onset epilepsy. To our devastation, after arranging our own MRI scan, Glioblastoma (GBM); an aggressive grade 4, terminal cancerous brain tumour was diagnosed.
Gruelling treatment began at The Royal Victoria Hospital & Belfast City Hospital, involving major brain surgery (7th Sept 2015), six weeks of radio-chemotherapy (Oct-Nov 2015), followed by six months of full strength chemotherapy (Dec 2015-June 2016), to blast the last remaining cancer cells left. Kevin did everything asked of him, followed all doctors' instructions, no matter how difficult, remaining positive and determined throughout. To our dismay, a year to the day this all began, on the 15th July 2016, we learnt that the chemo & radiotherapy treatment hadn't worked.
To our devastation, the tumour had resisted all treatment. It had become active again. Growing so aggressively it had wrapped itself around major brain arteries, making it's way higher up into Kevins brain. On 26th July 2016 we were told Kevin had a 3 month life expectancy, even with more chemotherapy. Kevin had to make a rapid decision to choose whether or not to undergo risky, specialist neurosurgery, away from home, in London, to try again to remove the bulk of the tumour. Kevin is the bravest, most fealess man I know, and replied to the 3 month life expectancy news with "I won't be beaten, I want to fight". We got on the next flight to London, where Kevin had fully awake (local anaesthetic) brain surgery, which lasted 5 hours. The neurosurgeon checked Kevin's functions (movement, speech, vision) throughout. The awake surgery was a horrific experience for Kevin. The neurosurgeons said Kevin experienced a lot of pain, and that "he gave them everything he had". One experienced neurosurgeon said it was one of the hardest things she has ever had to witness. Kevin has taught them, and me, what strength really means.
With Kevin's relentless cooperation the neurosurgeons in London managed to remove 95-97% of the tumour. However the remaining 3-5% is still aggressive, and its against the clock now to try to halt its growth.
Kevin's only hope at a chance of prolonging his life, getting his future back; his job back, and his happy ending to this horrific ordeal; is pioneering Immunotherapy at UCLH, London. Immunotherapy teaches the immune system to find and attack the brain cancer cells, however it is only available privately and will cost £205,000. We are putting all our personal finances, every penny we have, into funding this treatment, plus travelling back and forth to London, but we can't meet it alone.
I want Kevin to know he is not alone in this fight for his life. Please help Kevin fight this brain tumour in anyway you can. We really need your help. You can help by donating, and/or sharing his story, fundraising on his behalf, or asking friends, family or colleagues about fundraising advice or grants Kevin may be able to receive. Thank you for reading Kevin's story, we appreciate all your help.
Natasha Carey (nee Healey, Belfast)
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