Weʼre raising £50,000 to fund emergency ground-breaking cancer treatment
- Norwich, Norfolk
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Hi everyone, this update is extremely difficult for me to share so please bear with me whilst I attempt to explain things.
Unfortunately, following a recent scan we have been given the devastating news that my cancer has again progressed. I have been advised that I need urgent medical intervention and in the meantime, I should be preparing for the worst!!.
My NHS Medical Team here in the UK are only able to offer me limited Palliative Care with Chemotherapy which they stated would be unlikely to help. Furthermore, they have also stated that the Clinical Molecular Trial (London based) for which I have been waiting now for some months, is unlikely to help either - They have given me no hope at all!!
After a consultation last week with various specialists in Mexico, the USA and China, I have been given great hope. After discussing my rare case, Dr. Meza at the Sanoviv Clinic (Mexico) he has referred me to a clinic in San Diego who have links to a Clinic in China. The Chinese Clinic is led by Dr, Yu at the Boafa Clinic (refer to https://www.baofatherapy.com) who is the only source that can provide me with the advanced treatment that I need.
The treatment in China involves injecting the cancer on my liver (where they believe the ‘primary’ cancer is situated) with a combination of drugs. Dr. Meza says if we can get the ‘primary’ then this can turn everything else ‘off’. They will then be able to create a vaccine using some of the tumour that is still active. This will stop further disease spreading and also control the active disease. They will then treat any tumour over 1mm in diameter. Following this, they will be using a combination of drugs and immunotherapy to target the bone disease. This is not holistic in any sense and the side effects are regarded as being minimal as the Chemo does not ‘leak’ into the body. I will then be having further advanced treatment to control the brain tumour which was discovered in mid-December along with the bone disease by using his very own patented combo drug therapy that is only approved in China.
I regard the above approach as being my best option by far. Of course, the clinicians cannot offer any guarantees however they can definitely offer me an extended period of life to see my two lovely girls grow up, which is all I wanted to hear.
As you will appreciate, I have many issues to address and these are not just related to the financial aspects as I must secure an appropriate insurance to cover me if anything was to happen during my journey overseas. This is by far the most confidence I’ve had since being diagnosed with any treatment option. I feel like I have some hope again but it really is a race against time to get the treatment done. I will be setting up an emergency JustGiving page very soon.
Damion is 38 years old and the most wonderful husband and father a wife could wish for. We have two beautiful girls together, aged 6 and 4 years, who adore their father. In August 2016, we were devastated to learn that Damion has an extremely rare cancer called acinar cell carcinoma (of unknown primary). This extremely complex type of cancer is found in only 1-2% of patients..
Although this type of cancer originated from the pancreas, the primary tumour has not been found, despite multiple scans, and it had spread to Damion's liver, ribs, pelvis and spine. To fight the aggressive nature of the cancer, in September 2016, Damion started a very intensive course of chemotherapy to control the disease. In November 2016, we were given the amazing news that the large tumour on the liver had shrunk by about 30% in response to the chemotherapy. In February 2017, Damion underwent surgery to remove half of his liver along with the large tumour, two smaller tumours and his gall bladder. The next scan showed no sign of disease anywhere within the abdominal areas and also that the bone areas were dormant.
Unfortunately, our world collapsed again after the latest scan results in September 2017. The bone areas are active again, and new tumours have also appeared in the spinal and rib areas and a suspect 1cm lesion was found on the liver. Damion is about to complete six more cycles of chemotherapy to get the disease under control. This type of chemotherapy, however, cannot be sustained in the long-term as it severely weakens the immune system, can cause other serious health problems, and increases the risk different cancers appearing due to the toxicity of the treatment. After this cycle of treatment is complete, the only option for Damion if he stays with the NHS is palliative care involving chemotherapy and radiation treatment. This will not address the underlying issues and the prognosis for this approach is very poor. Furthermore, the continued reliance on chemotherapy and radiation will not only increase the risk of other serious health problems but will also destroy the quality of Damion’s remaining life. .
To give Damion the best chance of a longer life in better health, he has explored other treatments and therapies offered at reputable clinics abroad. All of the clinics offer the latest cutting-edge treatments, which include immunotherapies, stem cell therapy, cryo-therapy, targeted chemotherapy, non-evasive radiation, regional and whole body hyperthermia, proton therapy and many others. Certain treatments available to Damion will depend on the outcome of genetic testing of his tumour tissue and on the funding raised. The cost of Damion's initial treatment is detailed below. We are aiming to raise around £52,000 in the first instance to cover the cost of genetically appropriate testing and the first cycle of treatment, which includes a 9 month after-care home treatment plan. Additional costs that could be incurred include bone scans, ultrasounds, surgeries, blood transfusions, x-rays and lab work.
Various fundraising events will be held throughout the year to help meet the target. I myself along with some of our friends will be running the Norwich half marathon and competing in various other events. Music events are also being planned with dj's and friends collaborating.
We see this as the best opportunity for Damion to live a longer life in better health and see his children grow up, and are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of friends and family and any donations kindly pledged to help. We are also extremely thankful for anyone else who is able to make any contribution, of any size, to help us undertake this vital treatment to prolong our wonderful husband and loving father's life
Thank you for reading,
Emily, Arabella and Olive
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Damion Burbank started crowdfunding