In early November Bern suffered a new setback.
Having lost his left eye due to cancer, he has now lost most of the sight in his right eye due to a serious bleed. Bern is now registered blind.
We need to help Bern get back on line as this is his lifeline to the world. Bern desperately needs an I-Pad Pro with an accessibility app and a key board. The money we raise will help us buy this equipment.
Bern, whom I can only describe as a warrior for justice, regularly entertains us all with his sharp wit and sense of humour. He has the talent to make us all smile!
Any money left over will help make Christmas extra-special for Bern and his two boys!
Also, just to make it clear that this page has been set up by Bern's friends on the Maggie's on the Runway Committee and not Maggie's charity, consequently, 100% of all donations will go direct to Bern. Any admin costs will be covered by a separate anonymous donation....
Here is his story.....
"I have been treated for a very rare form of facial cancer affecting the ethmoid bone and sinus on the left hand side of my face. The diagnosis and treatment of my condition was delayed for a year as my local G.P.`s considered the symptoms I was experiencing were caused by other factors (blocked sinus, polyps, blocked tear duct, general infection etc.) and treated me accordingly with antibiotics, steroid sprays etc. It was only after suspecting polyps were causing my watery eye and, by now, double vision, that a scan and biopsy was done, and my cancerous condition confirmed in January 2015. In March they removed my left eye and top pallette at M.R.I. in an 18 hour op, where a piece of my hip bone was used to support the facial and mouth tissue that had been removed during surgery. Two weeks in I.C.U followed along with days spent on the general ward. The initial op had also involved a skin graft to cover the left orbit, but this failed to take, as did two subsequent grafts to cover the `void` left. These later skin grafts are thought to have failed as a result of radiation damage surrounding the affected tissues.
Now nearly three years on and numerous ops later I now have no facial nerve on my left side, have a plate across the remains of my top pallette (which collapsed following the radiation, causing my mouth and right nostril to now be connected to each other directly with awkward eating/swallowing/speaking resulting from it). I have experienced severe hearing loss and radiation damage to my remaining eye, as well as severe throat pain. In an attempt to finally cover the left orbit with `good skin` that has not been affected by the radiotherapy I had a skin expander inserted under my scalp on the right forehead side to create an expanse of skin that will eventually be grafted over the left socket and bind successfully with the surrounding skin, sadly that failed too.
On the 9th November, I received even more devestating news. Due to a serious bleed in my right eye I have now lost my sight almost completely and am now registered blind.
All through this my family and friends have been there at every turn, good or bad, and I would be at a loss without their support. Fortunately I am old enough not to be too `affected` by the changes in my appearance but feel deeply for anyone much younger in life suffering from any facial disfigurement and trying to cope with all the sudden changes to your life that result from it.
My advice to anyone diagnosed with this disease is to face it square on, and if at all possible, laugh in its face. Remain positive at ALL times and always look to the future. Never look back. The future is yours. Always!! "
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