Hi, I am Mark Bryant. I want to raise £ 100,000 for life saving treatment and would like to raise the funds as quickly as possible.
I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (Philadelphia Chromosome +ve) in June 2015 and it now considered terminal.
I had a full intensity allogenic stem cell transplant receiving my brother’s stem cells in September 2015. It is a very rare disease at my age and chance of survival was only 50%.
The treatment protocol was one of the most toxic treatments exposed to humans. It combined extremely high dose chemotherapy alongside full body radiation followed by the stem cell infusion. I had to stay in a confined room whilst my immune system recovered. I wasn't able to see my children for four weeks. Below is a photo two months after transplant with my hickman line still in.
In April 2016, I had an overt relapse. Watch this video of me the morning before I got the results. I clearly knew it wasn't good news.
I didn’t take a revised prognosis at this stage, I just focussed on getting better. I started taking a targeted chemotherapy drug called Dastatinib which I still take to this day.
I also seriously up-graded my lifestyle based on the principles promoted by Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, a more natural and holistic approach to health and wellness. My disease levels dropped from 18% to 0.02% in four weeks.
MORE OF MY BROTHERS CELLS>
I received some additional cells from my brother in June 2016. I got graft versus host disease where my brothers cells (graft) started attacking my cells (host).
My energy dropped dramaticallly to 5 or 10%, I was wiped out for the whole of the childrens summer holiday. My apetite disappeared and I lost a lot of weight. After some steriod treatment I started to feel better.
August and November I had two all clear bone marrow biopsy’s. Yipppeee... see the negative disease results below.! MRD stands for Minimal Residual Disease.
We had bad news again in February 2017 when our consultanat told us that the disease was back. It was only at low levels. It being back was not good.
We had another bone marrow in March and then again in April to see if we could identify a trend. Unfortunately they both came back with the same result, Positive on the Outer Quantifiable Range (POQR). See the chart above.
THE TREATMENT OPTIONS>
My consultant in the UK recommended a treatment called Blinatunomab. This would require a new hickman line put in my chest and 28 days on a drip 24 hours per day being administered another toxic treatment. I again wouldn't be able to see my children for another 4 weeks.
I obtained a second opinion from a haematology oncolocist from Florida who recommended a low dose immunotherapy. It would include daily injections of Interlukin-2 (IL-2) for 5 days a week for 6 weeks. IL-2 is essentially a protein found in the body and its aim is to activate the natural killers cells and the t-cells of my inate immune system. The drug is a synthetic drug so it still classed as medicine.
He would also carry perform an immune function test, gut biome, blood and cell nutrient evaluations, heavy metal testing and see where there are any imbalances. We can then work with these results to support the immune system.
Another benefit of Florida would include staying at at Hippocrates Health Institute. I would travel to the hospital every day. I believed would only add to my recovery.
The treatment in Florida will cost £ 100,000.
THE HARDEST DECISION OF MY LIFE>
March and April 2017 were extremely challenging times for myself and the family. We had to stare reality of the cancer in face. I researched night and day. I learnt that the life expectancy is only 6 months for a patient that has a stem cell transplant and an early relapse. My relapse was in April 2016, so I am extremely lucky to be sitting here writing this right now.
We had to make a quick life saving decision. My cancer is a fast progressing disease and an overt relapse could occur rapidly. If that happened, getting it back under control will be difficult and would require more toxic treatment. I know it would be a slippery slope from there.
I had a consultation on Tuesday 25th April with my UK consultant. I looked well, my bloods were good, the disease hadn't gotten any worse so making a call was difficult. Do I do nothing, take the treatment in the UK or Florida?
I decided that no action wasn't an option. I thought, 'if I am to cure myself from a extremely challenging disease, I need to support my immune system. Not take away from it.'
Doing the UK treatment may attack the disease and get me to all clear again, but also weaken my immune system. I felt it would be a more life prolonging treatment option.
The Florida treatment will support my immune system, not take away from it. There are potential side affects which may include a recurrence of graft versus host. I decided after a nights sleep that I was definately going to go to Florida.
I booked the flight for 29th April and started treatment on the 1st May. My family and I have had to guarantee the costs whilst I request funding via our health insurance provider.
PLEE FOR FUNDING>
My health insurance company declined their financial support this week.
I have four weeks left here on treatment and have to pay for it in full before I leave. It will massively relieve the financial pressures on my family if I was able to raise the funds via this campaign.
I have never asked for help before and feel extremely vulnerable as a man and father writing this. I have to remind myself that it isn't about me. It is about Fiona, my two little girls (8 and 6 years old) and the rest of my family. x x
Please do everything you can to support me. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Once I get through this, I promise I will make it back in many ways.
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With love, Mark x x x