My son, Charlie, has been a melanoma warrior for 6 years now. His story starts when he was just 19 years old and an inconspicuous mole on his neck was diagnosed malignant melanoma. He had the mole removed, and continued to have regular skin checks. Roll on three years, returning from travels in Australia, he went for his dermatology appointment where it was apparent his disease had spread majorly. He had a major operation to remove the tumour from his neck and shoulder, but unfortunately it has spread to his lymph nodes. He was stage IV, and his life expectancy poor. To quote Charlie “there was no question of planning for the future I had to tear myself away from hope”. After further surgery to remove additional tumours, it became apparent that this was no longer an option. The introduction of immunotherapy treatment, various trials and targeted therapy kept Charlie’s disease stable until December 2019. The NHS had run out of options for him.
Recently, a brand new trial, offering a completely different form oftreatment, adoptive cell therapy, where some of Charlie’s tumour cells will be removed and immune cells are grown in a lab for 3 months to large numbers and administered back into his body to fight the cancer.
Unfortunately, Charlie has been without effective treatment sinceFebruary, so his cancer has undoubtedly progressed, and he will be without treatment for the next 3 months unless we can find the funds required to pay for the drugs which could keep his disease stable enough for the trial to be as effective as possible. This is where we are hoping people can find it in their hearts to contribute anything affordable to help us reach our target.
I am extremely proud of my son, he had planned to become a Primary School Teacher, but had to abandon his degree course due to his health. He would have made a great teacher. He never moans, complains, even in his darkest moments. Everybody who knows or meets him, loves him. He has a fabulous partner, Hannah,also a teacher, she is a very special person, supporting him through all of this, I am so grateful to her.
- Jak Sanders
- Jenny Gerada
- Millie Harvey
- Joe Cooke
- LizAndyLouisePeter Todd