Huge fundraiser launched to help dad pay for potentially life-saving cancer treatment
A new car and a Greek five-star holiday are two of the prizes on offer as part of a huge fundraiser to support a determined dad who is fighting cancer.
Two years ago the dad 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 39-year-old 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.
Now he is waiting to see if he will be given a new drug on a compassionate scheme which could give him the vital time he needs to fundraise for CAR-T therapy – which will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Family and friends are currently organising a tribute night, raffle and auction where people could win a brand new Kia Picanto or a week’s holiday in Greece in five-star accommodation.
The event – which will take place outside The Mallard, Murton, on Sunday, May 30 – will include tribute acts from Freddy Mercury, David Bowie, Karen Kennedy 80’s show, Amy Winehouse, Ska/Soul, and The Kill performing Bon Jovi Forever.
Raffle tickets will be available to win a week’s holiday in Crete, Greece, for two in five star accommodation and to win a new car.
Tickets cost £20 each to be in with a chance of winning the Kia Picanto, which is registered to SG Petch LTD as a demonstrator, has a 6 year warranty.
They will also auctioning two caravan holidays – at Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, in Morpeth, for up to eight people and another caravan holiday in Stanhope – the chance to loan a brand new BMW 440i convertible for a weekend.
Other prizes include a gym membership, a sparkling afternoon tea, four tickets to the first Durham County cricket game of the season and hair salon vouchers are also being raffled.
Jill Donnison, who is organising the event alongside Derek’s wife Catherine, said: "I spoke to Catherine and she was so upset, she just didn’t know which way to turn and so I asked about setting up a Go Fund Me page.
"I sat and set it up and it has just snowballed since then. It’s taken over my life. It could be one of my family members and I’d love to think someone would do that for them.
"It’s absolutely amazing, it really is, the generosity of people – I just can’t put into words how much it means.”
The 46-year-old, who met Derek and his family when they became neighbours, added: "Derek has got so much fight, there’s days we see him and he looks worn out but he has so much drive.
"We’re just trying to push for him as hard as we can, I just feel like there’s always more that we can do.”
Tickets for the event, which will be held inline with Covid guidance, and the car raffle can be bought by contacting The Mallard.