The Back Story
Tony was diagnosed with a large tumour on his vocal chords in February 2014, he underwent aggressive and intensive radiotherapy over 7 weeks combined with chemotherapy. His response to treatment was amazing, he astounded everyone and for the last 3 1/2 years everything has been fantastic, it made us look at the world differently, re-evaluate life and question what we wanted from it.
We changed our life completely, we married after a 21 year engagement, started doing things we had always meant to and started a new business, Celtic Fairy Doors, this business is just starting its 3rd year now and going from strength to strength finally things were starting to go right for us, that is until now.
Where we are now
Just before Christmas in 2017 I started to notice changes in Tony's voice and he started to get a sore throat so it was straight back to the hospital for tests. After meeting with his specialist, then undergoing a scope, a biopsy, CT and PET scans we received the devastating news that the cancer is back. This time it has spread and our treatment options are extremely limited, it is inoperable and Tony can't have radiation again as he had the maximum last time. There doesn’t appear to be a curable option available at the moment but I intend to turn over every rock and look in every corner of the globe to find a way to live with this cancer even if we can't cure it. Tony's medical team have been fantastic, but there is only so much they can do, they can only offer Tony chemotherapy which after much research doesn’t appear to be our best option. I certainly wish I had a medical degree as I have been spending most waking moments researching, the only way we are going to beat this is by researching every avenue we can, not accepting limited options, sifting fact from fiction and the determination that the solution is out there we just have to find it.
Why we need your Help
We are determined that he can fight this and win but we need your help. Unfortunately in the big scale of cancers head and neck cancer is not common enough to get the funding for research the way cancers such as breast, prostate and lung cancers do, this means the treatment options are limited and hard to find. We have found a medical trial in St James Hospital in Dublin that Tony has signed the consent for, it give's Tony a 50% chance ( the trial is randomised) of receiving Immunotherapy which we are fast believing may be our best option. Immunotherapy is not currently licensed in Ireland for head and neck cancers, so the only way of getting it here is through a clinical trial.
As the research is limited we also want to get a test called Oncofocus at a cost of €1800 which could potentially be of great benefit to Tony as it enables them to match the unique mutation profile of Tony's tumour to over 680 targeted therapies, in addition and very importantly the test is able to predict if he's likely to respond to immunotherapy. We also want to have a consultation with Dr David Fennelly at St Vincent's and Blackrock in Dublin who is an expert on targeted therapies and immunotherapy and seek his advice. This will be costly as will continuous trips to and from Dublin, at least one or two a week for the foreseeable future. It may also be that once we have the test results we may be searching globally for the treatment Tony needs and be looking for help with funding from any and all avenues possible. We are going to try everything in our power to get the immunotherapy treatment, which is not going to be simple, we are researching other trials globally and where these drugs are available. We have spent the best part of the last 2 months in and out of hospitals and don't see that changing any time soon, which as we are self-employed has meant we have used up all of our financial reserves. Time is ticking by, it is urgent that we get these tests and appointments as soon as possible and that is why we need your help.
We are going to win this battle with your help.
We are going to win this battle but really need your help to do so, as unfortunately all of this is going to take money and we are asking from the bottom of our hearts that anyone who can will donate, no amount is too small and every cent is appreciated. If you’re not able to donate then please help our campaign by sharing and helping spread the word. We are just asking for the best possible chance to keep Tony living life with his family, where he is the glue that holds everything together. He is the most loving, caring, talented person I have ever met and his love and zest for life is what sustains us all. Our family has already endured more than its fair share of loss and grief so please help #teamtony to win this fight.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and please know that each and every share or donation means more than we can ever express.
With love & humble gratitude
Jo & Tony
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