It’s every families nightmare to receive the devastating news of a loved one suffering from a life changing illness, even more so when that illness goes undetected until in its advanced stages.
On the 19th May, Callum Powell and his family received the most devastating news that Callum, at the age of 27, has stage 4 gastro-oesophageal cancer.
Oesophageal cancer effects 9000 people per year in the UK, who are all mostly over the age of 75. The cruellest most unimaginable thing about this cancer is that by the time you get symptoms, the cancer is advanced.
The Justgiving page to raise vital funds has been set up by Callum’s sister, Chloe Powell and has already seen the £10,000 target exceeded.
Chloe said: “Prior to this Cal was extremely healthy; regularly climbing mountains and running half marathons. His symptoms started a few months ago with difficulty swallowing. After several trips to the doctors and being told to assume it was a stomach ulcer, we found out the most shocking news that there was a tumour between the junction of his oesophagus and his stomach.
“At first we were told it may be operable within two weeks, however another blow hit us after the PET scan revealed it had spread, making the tumour inoperable and the cancer incurable so our only treatment option would be to receive palliative chemo to extend life.
“Since coming out of hospital, where Cal was tube fed for 2 weeks due to losing 10kg, he has come on leaps and bounds. After having one session of low dose chemo, his appetite and energy levels have increased, the tube is gone and he’s eating 2000cals+ a day!
“We also recently received some great news that Cals cancer is HER2 positive which has opened up another treatment option using a targeted drug therapy (Herceptin) through the NHS. Due to him coping so well to his first treatment, he has been offered full dose HCX chemo due to start on the 7th July.
“After already paying thousands towards having the the tumour biopsy sent to Belgium for genetic testing, private consultations at The Christies, private oncology meetings, alternative treatments and medicines, nutritional therapists, functional medicine practitioners and counselling etc, all donations will give Callum the chance he deserves to fight this and provide him with the best quality of life.
“We are unsure where this journey will lead us but we have a fantastic team of specialists around us guiding us through the best course of treatment and we want to be ready to face and fund anything that’s thrown at us whether it’s attending a cancer clinic in Germany, immunotherapy drugs or maybe even surgery.
Anyone who knows Cal knows how kind, caring and selfless he really is and truly deserves this chance as there needs to be more Cals in the world. The kindest soul, the life of the party and the most positive person I’ve ever met!”
Over the coming months the Powell family will also be organising fundraisers, and updating Callum’s progress through the Justgiving page.
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com