Drug gives new hope to Doncaster dad with colon cancer
When Doncaster dad Russell Alderson was diagnosed with colon cancer and told by several doctors that nothing more could be done for him he was determined not to give up.
Even when doctors warned his cancer would kill him, Russell, aged 38, who lives with his partner Hayley and 15-year-old daughter Abigail, decided he was not going to accept the prognosis.
Russell said: “I remember my late dad saying he wished he had done more with his life. I vowed then to live life to the full and decided not to accept that nothing could be done. I can’t accept that I’m going to die so early; I’m just not ready to leave Hayley, Abigail and my family.”
Demonstrating his strength and resilience, Russell kept researching his condition and also phoned into online cancer conferences across Europe and the US to learn a lot about bowel cancer and possible new treatments, including a targeted treatment usually used in the treatment of breast cancer.
He brought his findings to his hospital appointments at Spire Leeds Hospital while he was undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer. His doctor encouraged him to do so but also cautioned him that some of the treatment information Russell was bringing in would only benefit three per cent of bowel cancer patients.
Russel said: “I joked that I would find something and one day I would be in that three per cent. Happily, that has become a reality.”
Russell is continuing with his chemotherapy treatment in combination with a Herceptin therapy drug. The NHS can not fund this, and neither will his insurance company, due to the drug being licensed in the UK only for the treatment of breast cancer.
Herceptin is very costly, and Russell is in the early months of self-funding from his limited savings. Hopeful that this combination of therapies will bring results he could not have previously imagined, he has now turned his attention to researching cancer charities for any support they can offer towards the costs of treatment.
He said: “I’m hoping this treatment will beat the cancer. The doctors have told me that best case scenario is the cancer will go into remission.”
Russell’s family and friends have setup a GoFundMe page to help his pay for his treatment. Donate at www.gofundme.com/f/ynseec-help-russ-fight-cancer.