49%
£24,801raised of £50,000 target by 566 supporters

Weʼre raising £50,000 to support Ben who has lost his leg to cancer; and get him the best prosthetic limb in the hope he can return to hockey & university

Location
North Wales, UK

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Story

Ben's Diagnosis:

Travelling home from hockey Ben felt a lump whilst rubbing behind his knee. Several weeks later the lump turned to pain which prompted him to make an appointment with his doctor and a common Bakers cyst was diagnosed.

Satisfied with the diagnosis after Googling his symptoms, he then waited 7 months for an appointment with the Orthopaedics. During this time, he continued to play hockey every week, going the whole season unbeaten! Sadly, the hospital visit revealed the small lump at the back of his knee was actually a tumour and was immediately referred to the specialist Robert Jones & Agnus Hunt hospital in Gobowen, Oswestry.

2 days later, after numerous scans, Ben was told he had a 14cm tumour. A biopsy soon confirmed this to be a rare bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma, affecting fewer than 30 teenagers and young adults in the UK each year. From the outset we were told the prognosis was not good as the tumour had wrapped around his crucial arteries and to save his life, and give him the best chance possible, there was no alternative but to amputate his leg. At the age of 21 Ben struggled to come to terms with this emotionally and psychologically.

Treatment :

Ben had 6 cycles of pre-operative chemotherapy at the wonderful Christie hospital in Manchester to try and shrink the tumour and treat any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of his body before surgery. Now, after amputation, he has 8 more cycles of chemotherapy and possibly radiotherapy to consolidate his treatment.

The side effects of this hardcore chemotherapy are significant such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Ben has lost his hair, his eyebrows and most of his eyelashes; his skin is pale and sallow and he has very little energy at times; a stark contrast to the good looking young man who had an appetite for life.

Ben’s Prognosis :

Sadly, there was no hope for Ben to keep his leg and his right leg was removed half way up his thigh. The operation was performed by the amazing “Mr Cool” and his team at the specialist bone hospital, Robert Jones & Agnus Hunt, where Ben spent 2 weeks in recovery and physiotherapy.

Adjuvant chemotherapy started swiftly after surgery and he is now attending regular visits to the Limb Centre where he will have a series of prosthetics as the residual leg heals and changes shape. He will require significant mobility rehabilitation and intensive physiotherapy over the forthcoming year and is likely to have significantly impaired mobility for the rest of his life.

The Cost :

Thankfully prosthetics are improving all the time but whilst lots of innovation and development has been seen in replacement limbs for the Armed Forces, the same level of functionality and prosthetics are not available to civilians on the NHS. Funding a replacement leg privately is prohibitively expensive at around £75k and will need to be replaced potentially every 3 to 5 years.

Thankfully a prosthetic leg with a microprocessor knee (MPK), using an internal computer and sensors, is now a possibility on the NHS but Ben will have to demonstrate commitment and motivation to using a mechanical leg first before being considered for this digital leg. This complex microprocessor leg provides sophisticated control enabling the user to walk with a stable and efficient gait closely resembling a natural walk.

In order for Ben to get back to competitive sport, he will require a 'blade' that allows the wearer to run and jump and overcome some of the deficiencies in other prosthetics but is not available on the NHS over the age of 18. The cost to acquire this privately is around £50k for an above knee amputee.

The future :

Whilst this news has been shocking and difficult for us all to come to terms with, the combination of chemotherapy and amputation is aimed at cure. In the words of Mr Cool at our initial consultation, "1st we save Ben, 2nd we save the leg". Sadly the latter wasn't an option but we still have Ben and for that we are extremely grateful.

We’ve been through all the emotions, the anger and frustration but now we’re moving forward. Ben is still Ben and has shown amazing positivity. He's enjoying online gaming with his mates when he’s recovered from the effects of chemotherapy, and will hopefully get to finish university if not this year then hopefully the next. He has youth and determination on his side and we don’t doubt for one minute that he will master walking again quickly and get back to sport, taking back control of his life as soon as it's physically possible.

Fundraising Appeal :

Our focus now is on securing the best replacement leg possible to get Ben back to an active life, to hopefully return to competitive hockey and importantly continue with his studies at university, as well as financing any other costs that would help improve his situation and lift his spirits.

Cancer is expensive, especially with travel and accommodation for treatment away from home. Disability too is expensive: car conversions to a left foot drive; driving lessons for an adapted car and adaptions to the home are just some of the many costs we will face in the coming years.

Prosthetics technology is also advancing all the time so who knows what could be available in the future that could improve the quality of Ben’s day to day life.

So this is where you come in. If you can afford a small donation or are looking to raise money for a good cause please would you consider Ben, or at least in part. For those of you who know Ben personally, you will know what a fun loving person he his and a joy to be around. I'm sure you will agree he is a very worthy cause.

You can view photos of Ben and his progress on Facebook: 'Support Ben Rawson'

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Ben Rawson

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    4 months ago

    Ben Rawson started crowdfunding

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    Supporters

    566

    • Kieron Andrews

      Kieron Andrews

      Feb 19, 2018

      Good luck Ben

      £5.00

    • Brooklands Hockey Club

      Brooklands Hockey Club

      Feb 19, 2018

      Bid by Samantha Leckey for Chris Froome shirt on night of the GB Charity Match

      £400.00

    • Brooklands Hockey Club

      Brooklands Hockey Club

      Feb 19, 2018

      £250 from Junction 29 Truckstop donated by Charles Jesudaeson.

      £250.00

    • Kirsty Hughes

      Kirsty Hughes

      Feb 18, 2018

      Hi Ben, wishing you all the best. X

      £30.00

    • Alastair Buchan

      Alastair Buchan

      Feb 18, 2018

      Donation of wages for bar work on the night of the GB Match at Brooklands Hockey Club.

      £50.00

    • Brooklands MU Hockey Club

      Brooklands MU Hockey Club

      Feb 18, 2018

      10% of food and drink sales on the night of the GB Match at Brooklands Hockey Club - donated by Paul Mo, bar franchise holder.

      £200.00

    • Jim and Anne Sorsby

      Jim and Anne Sorsby

      Feb 18, 2018

      Great spirit, hang in there and here's hoping you get back to playing a great game with a great set of lads. We're all behind you. Best of luck and hope to follow your progress.

      £20.00

    About the fundraiser
    Ben Rawson

    Ben Rawson

    North Wales, UK

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