In summer 2019 the future looked bright for 18 year old Joel and his family. Having received fantastic A-level results he was looking forward to going to University in September. Less than two weeks later on August 28 following a period of having severe migraine type headaches he went to the optician on the advice of his GP. The Optician saw retinal haemorrhaging and sent him immediately to hospital. Within a few days he was having emergency brain surgery to remove a golf ball sized brain tumour. Although the tumour was removed successfully, a few days into Joel’s recovery they received the devastating diagnosis of glioblastoma - the most lethal and aggressive brain cancer. Average life expectancy is only 18 months, and it is incredibly rare that anyone lives longer than five years. Since September 2019 Joel has received excellent care from the NHS at The Christie Hospital having radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a clinical trial of immunotherapy.
Joel has bravely endured all the treatments but worries that any headache is the first sign that the cancer is returning. COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to enjoy the time that he has to spend with his friends and family and he’s not been able to do things that he loves like meeting friends, acting and clubbing. He is determined to live a normal life for as long as he possibly can and after having had to postpone his first year of university following his diagnosis he began University in September 2020.
The best possible treatment, in addition to the NHS standard care he has had, is Dendritic Cell Vaccine which is essentially a personalised cancer killing vaccine made from Joel’s own residual tumour tissue. Given that Joel’s treatment to this date has only been palliative this is the most promising way of actually prolonging his life. The treatment is not yet available on the NHS even though it is recommended by renowned oncologists. Because this treatment is bespoke for Joel we aim to raise over £400,000 for the vaccine to be manufactured by a biotech company in Cambridge and for him to receive the treatment from a leading brain tumour Professor from Kings College Hospital in London.
Your donation towards this and any other pioneering treatments we can find will help Joel and also contribute to developing breakthrough cancer treatment for brain tumours to help others in the future.
Please donate what you can to Help Joel Live Longer.
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