A NEWLYWED Leeds man has undergone a successful operation to remove the majority of cancerous brain tumour – but his family say they need to raise around £70,000 a year for drugs to keep him alive.
Father-of-four Simon Fox, 51, from Roundhay, has been told drug Avastin is the best treatment to attack the inoperable part of the tumour, but it is not approved for use on the NHS to treat brain tumours.
Mr Fox collapsed in September and was diagnosed with an aggressive grade four glioblastoma tumour following tests at St James’s Hospital.
He underwent 16 weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy at St James Hospital, but in August he was told the tumour had stopped reacting to treatment.
The oil company sales engineer married his sweetheart Sharron Pick, 47, of East End Park, last November after doctors told him he could only expect to live a maximum of six months.
The pair, who now live in Castleford, were due to wed in March 2017, but they did not know if he would make it and rearranged the wedding for a earlier date.
“We literally didn’t have time to wait and got the first available date to get married at the register office in Leeds.
“It was beautiful, a really fabulous wedding at Leeds Town Hall and then we had a blessing at St Oswald’s church in Methley.”
Mr Fox underwent an operation at a Harley Street Clinic in London on October 7 to remove 95 per-cent of the tumour, but his family say he will need the drug Avastin to control the small percentage of tumour and roots which remains.
Mrs Fox said: “He will need Avastin for the rest of his life and it costs approximately £72,000 a year in the UK.”
She added: “Our fundraising is now all about the after care treatment Simon needs to stay alive.”
Mr Fox’s family has set up a fundraising page at gofundme.com/SimonsBrainSurgery and have raised more than £12,000 to date.
Simon Fox said: “I’m very glad to be alive and I’m very grateful for everyone’s efforts. It’s amazing what people have done.”
NOT ON NHS
THE NATIONAL Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has not approved Avastin for general use by the NHS.
NICE was asked to asked to produce guidance on bevacizumab – which is sold under trade name Avastin – for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. But it was stopped because the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human use could not approve a change to the marketing authorisation of the drug – which would have meant it could be used to treat glioblastoma.