Help Dave fight the Cancer Monster
- $25,677.50 donated
- 100 generous donors
Please help my Dad continue his fight with Cancer and send him to Melbourne for life-prolonging treatment unavailable in New Zealand
My father has been living with cancer since 2008, and after a period of success with his treatments, we have received the news no family wants to hear.
Dave’s cancer is growing and not responding to his current treatment. His liver has now swelled to twice the normal size with the cancer present in 60% of his liver in all nodes. His oncologist Dr Ben Lawrence feels he is a good candidate for the recommended PRRT (Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy) as the best and only option to prolonging his life. Unfortunately this treatment is not available or funded in New Zealand and is only available in Melbourne. Without this treatment he has only a 50% chance of living 3 years. This treatment will enable Dad to have a fighting chance to live and share in our lives for a little longer.
A week after my wedding in 2008 Dad checked into the hospital with what he thought was a chest pain, only to be given the news that it was Cancer. Incurable, inoperable, multiple lesions on his liver. He was initially given three months to live. Our tight-knit family went into turmoil, and it broke us, we have been living with this diagnosis every day since.
Dave has a Stage 4 Neuroendocrine Carcinoma (or NET), which is a cancer of the Hormonal system, tumours normally occur in the gut area, because they are slow growing they often have already metastasised to other organs before diagnosis. There is no cure for this cancer. Treatment is a matter of slowing progression and managing symptoms. These have been many over the years and while Dave acts as if everything is ok, he daily copes with a range of debilitating symptoms. Chronic tiredness has become a factor in everyday life, the sort where you don’t even have the energy to carry out simple tasks, diarrhea, cramp that is so severe it locks his hands onto the car steering wheel, terrifying when you're travelling. He undergoes two injections every month of a growth hormone to help slow the progress of the tumours, very painful he says - like ‘being kicked in the bum by a horse’, nausea, fevers, sleeplessness through worrying and pain at the site of the cancer, night sweats. He has been hospitalised several times over the last 2 years with episodes of the worst flu like symptoms you can have, these come on very quickly in a matter of hours.
But Dave is a fighter and a stubborn bugger as you all know! He and our family have exhaustively put our energy into keeping cancer at bay and this latest treatment is our biggest hurdle yet.
He started his fight with 6 unsuccessful rounds of Chemo before a re-diagnosis of the cancer offered some new and unfunded options. He privately funded a radical SIRT treatment where the liver was directly irradiated. Although successful and despite now lasting more than 12 months - his life expectancy still remained at 3 months as the oncologists advised that his liver would eventually become overwhelmed and at that stage a rapid descent would signal the end. With this advice he sadly had to resign from his job and move to be closer to us in Wellington.
Still not one to give up he privately funded the surgical removal of the Primary tumour on the exterior of his duodenum thinking that if he could prevent the reseeding of the cancer this would potentially help. On recovery from surgery, he again went under the treatment of oncology and started a monthly injection of Octreotide. His life expectancy was re-assessed as “conditional survival”, which was explained that he had reached the limits of statistical data, and “the longer he lived the longer he was likely to live”.
The trouble with Cancer is that it never plays by the rules and we have all been lulled into a false sense of security that Dad was doing okay, when in reality the tumours have been quietly growing. The latest scans indicate only a 50% chance of surviving 3 years.
Other than chemotherapy, specialised treatment of NET cancer is not funded in NZ. Mum and Dad have drained their savings with reduced income in recent years and with paying for treatment. At a time in their lives when they should be enjoying time with each other, family and a rest from a life's work, they have limited funds and now face a financial burden in another battle for Dad to stay alive.
Dave is currently in reasonable health, and dedicated to continuing this journey. He has come so far and defied the odds not to give up now, but the window for treatment is small. He has maintained a part time job to preserve an income, and is active as Secretary to a local club, and doing voluntary work, but it will not be enough to cover the costs for the treatment.
We appreciate the support our friends and family have given us over the years as we face the cancer monster, and we ask that you help us in this latest hurdle to keep Dave with us.
Dad wishes to acknowledge the support of the Unicorn Foundation which has been set up in NZ to assist in the education and understanding of NET cancers. They have funded the establishment of Gatate scanning in NZ which is a necessary step to diagnosis and assessment of suitability for PRRT.
Use of Funds:
All funds raised will go towards the costs to have the PRRT treatment in Melbourne, and also to cover accommodation and flight costs for Dad and Mum (his support person) for the multiple treatment rounds.
Any surplus funds raised will be donated to the Unicorn Foundation, so other sufferers of ENT Neuroendocrine Cancers can get access to the treatments they desperatley need.
Page created by:
I am Dave's daughter and I want to help my dad keep his cancer at bay.
All funds raised benefit:
Funds will be paid to a verified bank account of Cherryl Marriott on behalf of Dave Marriott.
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