A small hand for Antoni
Antoni Fletcher-Goldspink (they/them), otherwise known as Anthony Townsend, was diagnosed with terminal cancer on 25 June 2021. After no warning bar several months of pain and numbness in first their left arm then shoulders, spine and hips, a CT scan finally revealed the truth. Cancer in the brain, lungs, spine and elsewhere.
Right now the cause still isn’t known. There is a small chance it may be testicular, which may be treatable so they have started rigorous chemotherapy and radiotherapy as precautions as an in patient in hospital. If this is not the case no damage will be done, but thought will turn to prolongation of quality of life and palliative care.
Many of you know Antoni- a very positive, proactive person who tries to make the best and see the best in any occasion. This is no different. Their outlook is to accept what they can’t control, but they can certainly control their response.
And their response is with a much positivity as possible about what they can do with brightness and humour.
Antoni is prestigious in the charity sector, having been a dedicated campaigner for equal rights for over 30 years, and in the last 15 dedicating their creative talents in roles to raising untold amounts for Crusaid, The National AIDS Trust, Alzheimer’s Society and currently Cancer Research UK. They have been a trustee for anti-hate crime group 17-24-30, and a spokesperson for them, National AIDS Trust and Stonewall. Most recently he was part of the organising team of the postponed G’Day of the Doctor event, which even though hasn’t gone ahead yet has raised thousands of GB pounds for relief organisations for the Australian Bush fire disaster.
Outside of the charity sector Antoni, as Anthony Townsend, is an actor, voice artist, interviewer and event host who has most recently worked with Big Finish in their Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 ranges, 368 Theatre Company in live performances and two recent podcast series “The Pogley Wood Murders” and “Moira Moments”, providing readings and voices for SNS Online and more. Previously back in the 1990s they were a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine.
They're a devout Whomosexual - well known and loved in the Doctor Who fan and professional world, and it’s their passion too. It’s given them joy, opportunity, love and so many laughs, and that’s without watching the actual programme. They also run Brighton’s Doctor Who group Diva Loka, with screenings, socials, and events featuring stars from the series.
Recent years haven’t been easy. Escaping an abusive marriage which left them heavily in debt, followed closely by the tragic death of their mum, redundancy last year from their beloved Alzheimer’s Society… but they used the opportunity to turn things afresh, arrange the wiping of the debt using the minimal redundancy payment and finally landing the perfect role at Cancer Research UK in April. Things were looking very, very good.
So now here came the cancer.
So what can we do?
Antoni has always been self sufficient and supports themself, often supporting partners and friends too along the way. They can exist through this on sick pay and benefits, but can we make things a little easier?
Not having to worry when they leave hospital soon to become an outpatient. Not having to worry about affording taxis instead of buses to appointments, to be able to afford to go out and have good times with friends, to get equipment that will help like a bigger phone as their hands are badly affected and it’s a lifeline. Get a special chair to aid comfort and mobility, get suitable clothes if weight is lost or gained… just a few of the things that can be done.
In future help provide new and dreamed of experiences perhaps, like a theatre and hotel stay in London, suitable travel and accommodation to other parts of the UK like their family in Devon and friends in Cardiff and Manchester.
Without this things will be ok, they always make the best of it, but with our help we can ease the difficulties of day to day life so they can concentrate on treatment and living the best they can. They have strived all their life to make our lives better. Let’s now do the same for them.
If you can contribute we and they will be eternally grateful.