Hi, my name is Rachel and I live in Buckinghamshire with my 43-year-old husband Matt, our 16 year old son Jake and our 6-month old daughter Isabella.
In early February this year, Matt started hearing music in his ears and feeling peculiar. By March, he was experiencing severe headaches which were put down to an ear infection and exhaustion following the birth of our beautiful daughter Isabella.
On Good Friday, Matt was admitted to hospital and the following day a CT scan showed a growth on his right temporal lobe. Subsequently, he was admitted to the John Radcliffe hospital where he had part of the tumour removed and was diagnosed with a grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).
At the time of writing, Matt is undergoing a six week course of daily radio and chemotherapy to slow down the growth of the tumour, but there is no cure. GBM’s are the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumour and with the current treatment regime, the prognosis is typically 14.6 months.
There are other treatments out there but unfortunately these are currently not available on the NHS. A treatment called DC Vax is due to be trialled at Kings College Hospital in London this year. It will be trialled as a phase 3 clinical trial, so there is growing confidence in the vaccine. Matt is not eligible for the trial as he has already had surgery to remove some of the tumour away from the trial site. However, he has been accepted onto a compassionate/self pay programme at Kings College London to receive this treatment.
DC Vax is a therapy that is aimed at creating an immune response against the cancer. It uses a person’s dendritic cells and an extract of the tumour cells to achieve an immune response. Results show a much improved life expectancy with this therapy, with many people exceeding 5 years.
Our aim ultimately is to give Matt as much time with his family and friends as possible. He wants to see Jake start university next year and walk Isabella to school on her first day of primary school.
We have already been able to raise some money but have a shortfall of between £30,000 to £40,000.
There are many ways in which you can help us to raise the money. You can donate here, you could organise fundraising events, donate items for auction or simply spread the word to as many people as possible about our cause.
The money raised will be used for the following:
1) Sending the tumour to Memphis, USA, to have the vaccine manufactured.
2) Matt travelling to Memphis for a one off visit to have blood work done.
3) Administering of the vaccine in the UK.
Any surplus funds would firstly be used for any unforeseen medical expenses arising from the treatment and any balance would be donated to the Brainstrust charity (charity number 1114634).
As a family we are devastated by this diagnosis but we remain positive and determined to make a difference to Matt's time left with us.
Any way you can support our cause would be appreciated immensely.
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