Dad told he has weeks to live as he awaits news of drug which could give him precious time for fundraiser
A loving dad who has been told he weeks to live in another devastating blow is hoping a compassionate scheme for a new cancer drug will give him precious time.
Two years ago Derek Allen’s life was turned upside down when was diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a form of blood cancer – after suffering pains to his chest.
Doctors broke the devastating news that the cancer was incurable but treatable – with an average life expectancy of seven years.
Since February 2019, the Easington Lane dad has battled through gruelling chemotherapy and other treatments before being told earlier this year that he had just months to live – and that NHS doctors couldn’t do anything more for him.
In yet another heartbreaking blow, a tumour the size of a tennis ball has formed in his chest and Derek has been told he may just have weeks left to live.
But the the 39-year-old is determined to prove doctors wrong.
Now he’s awaiting news on whether he will receive a new drug as part of a compassionate scheme which could give him the time he needs to fundraise for CAR-T therapy – which will likely cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
A Go Fund Me page, which was set up in the hope of getting Derek the potentially life-saving treatment, has raised more than £18,000 in just over a month.
But as he hopefully awaits news regarding a new drug, Derek has come off other forms of chemotherapy drugs – in the desperate hope that his bone marrow will strengthen.
"It's a gamble in not having any treatment for three weeks which I’m hoping if I can keep myself right it’ll pay off,” said Derek, who is dad to Morgan, 22, and James, 20, and 15-year-old Grace.
"I’ve just got to try and stay positive. When I’m positive and I’m feeling OK but when I go to hospital and they put down the ideas for various reasons it’s so hard to come back, to jump back up and have that positivity.
"I know where the doctors are coming from, I’m not delusional when it comes to palliative care and I know it might not be long.
"This is the worst I’ve felt. It broke me last week for the first time in two years but I’m so determined to defy the doctors.”
Derek, who is also grandad to three-year-old Kaidyn, has been researching possible treatment routes for months and is looking at CAR-T therapy in Israel or America.
In Israel, where treatment isn’t as expensive, Derek is facing medical bills in excess of £150,000 and is overwhelmed by the support he has received from friends, family and strangers in helping him towards that goal.
"I could never go around and thank everyone enough. I start thinking about it and it gets me emotional – the kindness everyone has shown and the generosity of people I don’t even know,” said Derek.
“I’d like to say a massive, massive thank you I’m so grateful for me but also for my wife and kids as well.
"If I get my way with it all I’ll go around and help everyone I would do anything I could to pay them back.”