Weʼre raising £500 to support Martin through his palliative chemotherapy
- Ludlow, UK
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In 2016, Martin was diagnosed with Parotid cancer, a very rare form of cancer. Two tumors were found in his skull and were wrapped around five facial nerves. He underwent a fairly gruesome surgery and a stint of radiotherapy at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. He was given the all clear the following summer.
Two years later, in May of this year, Martin collapsed whilst taking a short holiday to Spain with his fiance. An ambulance was called to their hotel room and the paramedic punctured his ribs to release the build up of fluid so that he could breathe. An X-ray in the Spanish A and E showed 3 massive tumors in his abdominal cavity 13x13x16cm. 6x6x5cm and 4x7x6cm and many more 1.5cm tumors inside his left lung. These tumors were missed on his head and neck scan in November, when he went for a follow up in January he was told the lump on his head was probably an infection and when he went to A and E for a suspected broken rib (from coughing) in February, he was told to take some paracetamol.
After discharging himself from hospital as his holiday insurance company were taking too long to process his application for an air ambulance, Martin flew home to Birmingham on a commercial flight and took his Spanish scans straight to the Queen Elizabeth A and E. A bank holiday weekend, he was kept in A and E for 4 days. Finally after being discharged with an appointment for a PET scan a week later, another week for the results which confirmed the presence of all of the tumors from the Spanish Xray and also that the lump he had pointed at above his ear in January was also a tumor. After another week to see an Oncologist, Martin was told his case was terminal. A nurse explained to him in the corridor, that the form he was given was for patients with less than 6 months to live.
Martin decided immediately, at the age of 28, that he would like to try and battle the tumors to give him as much time as possible to spend with his family and fiance. There are no trials available for this type of cancer and with no scientific basis, his oncologist can only prescribe the strongest type of chemotherapy that they have which "has had good success at slowing other general cancers". Martin also agreed to a painful biopsy of the tumor in his head, not for his own medical benefit, but for the 100,000 Genomes project which he hopes will help advance medical care and treatment of future patients.
Martin checked in for his first round of chemotherapy on Monday 2nd July only to be told that the cough he had had since January was preventing them from starting the course. Three days later he was sent home and told to continue taking antibiotics and return the following week. Finally, 8 weeks after collapsing in Spain, he has started his 21 week journey to try and slow down this incredibly aggressive cancer.
Martin only took 6 weeks off work for his first run in with cancer. In fact he took on additional jobs to try and keep his head above water. This time around, he is aware that he has no choice but to stop working completely. Not only must he try and keep his contact with others to a minimum to avoid germs while his body is weakened from the chemotherapy, but he must also take the time to spend any time that he is well with his family. His fiance also needs to cut back her work hours so that when required she can look after him at home.
In the mean time, Martin has many expenses he must pay for. The basics of a roof over his head, food for when he is feeling up to eating and other basic living expenses such as electricity and water. His SSP covers less than 50% of his rent. Macmillan will support things like jumping out of a plane, a holiday, or new clothing, but they can't pay his bills.
Martin also wishes to be repatriated to Latvia after his death for burial which will cost a couple of thousand pounds. He moved here at the age of 18 and whilst he insists he has forgotten more Latvian than he learnt of English, Latvia is home. While we have suggested a small target, any money that isn't spent in the next few months will be used to grant this wish. However, it is our deepest wish as his friends that this extra money is found as soon as possible so that he can spend what remains left of his life living, not worrying.
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- 14 days ago
Laura Penman14 days ago
Thanks for all of the support so far. We had a bit of a tea party with friends and family today to support Martin while he took the step of shaving his hair. His chemo tried to beat him to the punch but there was still some left on his head and a few people took turns cutting and shaving it at £1 a go! We had a bit of a collection on the side and 31 of his work colleagues also donated their months worth of tips into the pot too. Amazing team of people. Please keep supporting Martin, every penny really will help. Thanks
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- 23 days ago
Laura Penman23 days ago
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Laura Penman started crowdfunding
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Aug 11, 2018
Rosie Hardy & Ollie
Aug 10, 2018
Thinking of you Martin. X
Aug 8, 2018
All our support from France ! Emma & Florian 😘
Aug 6, 2018
Aug 5, 2018
Aug 4, 2018
Have seen your posts about Martin, Laura. What you are doing to help, along with all the staff at Fishmore is amazing and so very kind. Wishing Martin and you all love and strength xxx
Aug 4, 2018
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