Kenny's Cancer Fund

Firstly, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to raise funds for myself but for a lovely couple who moved from Scotland to Spain in August last year in the hope of enjoying their retirement years in a healthier climate where their early pensions could afford them a better quality of life.
Their names are Kenny (61) and Elaine (63) who moved from Gargunnock in Stirlingshire to Orihuela Costa situated in the Costa Blanca.
When in Scotland, Kenny worked initially as a policeman and for the last 17 years as an ambulance driver. Elaine spent the previous 26 years working for the NHS in Stirlingshire in an administrative role. The fact that both of these people worked in the healthcare system in Scotland for so many years makes the situation I am about to tell you so heart wrenchingly sad.
Kenny had an accident where he broke his ankle in two places while employed by the ambulance service. It was considered too serious a problem for him to continue in his role as an ambulance driver and was subsequently offered an early pension.
Kenny and Elaine had always hoped to retire to Spain and when he was informed that he would qualify for an S1 ahead of normal retirement age of 66, they started to organise the selling of their property in Scotland and made trips to Spain to look at prospective properties to purchase before settling on one in Orihuela Costa on the Costa Blanca.
They arrived in their new forever home in August 2019 and started the process of obtaining residency in Spain. One of the primary requirements to obtain residency in Spain is healthcare and they got in touch with the Overseas Healthcare department based in Newcastle to get the promised S1 form that they would be able to exchange for SIP cards (Spanish state healthcare) which they were told they would both receive, Elaine as a dependant as they are a married couple.
After numerous phone calls and emails, they were told, contrary to earlier confirmation, that Kenny was not entitled to an S1 and would have to wait until normal state pension age of 66, although with Elaine being 63, she would qualify first and as such, Kenny as a dependant. So no big deal you would imagine. Residency can still be obtained by taking out private healthcare insurance.
They called several companies for quotes on an annual policy for each individual which was straightforward for Elaine but not so for Kenny who had 4 stents from previous heart issues and a badly damaged ankle from the accident previously mentioned.
Kenny was basically uninsurable yet Elaine was insured for a premium in line with what a 63 year old woman would pay in Spain for one years cover. Kenny was faced with "winging it" and hoping everything would be fine for the 3 years until Elaine (and Kenny as a dependant) qualified for an S1 giving free healthcare in Spain for both.
Around December 2019, Kenny became ill with what seemed to be a bronchial problem. He lacked energy, lost his appetite and seemed breathless after only a short time walking. Having no healthcare, he did not seek medical assistance and presumed he would get better in time. However, his situation only got worse until, in late March / early April, he went to a private local doctor to try to find out what the problem was. The doctor discovered he had a collapsed lung and fluid in the lung cavity requiring urgent hospitalisation. His EHIC card covered that to a point but after over two weeks in hospital and several x-rays, scans and draining of fluid from his lung revealed he had cancer on the wall of the collapsed lung, they discharged him (still with a collapsed lung) and told him he needed to make an appointment with an oncologist at a private hospital nearby.
That appointment was quickly arranged and on Monday 8th June at 9.00am, Kenny was seen by the oncologist at Quiron Salud, Torrevieja. After a long consultation and references to the diagnosis from Torrevieja hospital, they were given a full breakdown of what treatment and timescale of what needed to be done.
The total cost of the treatment Kenny needs is just over 100,000 euros, a quite staggering amount of money. Six chemotherapy sessions, three weeks apart at 8,000 euros per session is only the beginning of the treatment but also the most expensive part of the treatment. They have a small amount of savings but nowhere near that sort of figure.
So, here we are, I am only their closest friend in Spain, surviving on an early pension (I am also 61) and wondering what is going on in this cruel and unfair world. They simply cannot afford the cost of all the treatment required here in Spain. Going back to the UK was something they seriously considered but by the time they sell up in Spain to be able to buy in UK, wait the three months to prove they are resident in UK again and have utility bills and bank statements to prove it, then wait in the ever growing post Covid-19 cancer treatment backlog that now exists in the NHS, the reality is that he would be unlikely to start the necessary treatment until early 2021.
This poor, sick man and his wife who both spent many of their working years helping others within the NHS now find themselves abandoned in their time of need. Spain doesn't want to know as they have no citizenship or residency status....UK doesn't want to know as you left the country 10 months ago and need to be resident in UK and re-apply for NHS care.
This poor, sick man needs help now yet neither country wants to take responsibility for his situation. I, as their friend, find the whole thing sickening and wonder how such a situation can be allowed to happen. Please help this couple out if you can, however little the amount which I hope can be paid directly to Quiron Salud to aid with transparency. Although I've only known them for less than a year, I have donated a quarter of my life savings (just over 3,000 pounds) to help them. I hope some of you can also help  as they are too proud to ask and are not even aware that I have shared this with you and asked for your help.


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Gordon Willock 
Punta De La Sal, VC, Spain
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