Dad with TEN brain tumours given hope with £33,500 gift from Good Samaritan
A selfless Good Samaritan has given a terminally-ill dad-of-two a £33,500 gift of life.
Glen Cunningham, 29, has TEN brain tumours caused by a rare form of cancer called gliosarcoma.
Health chiefs at South Tyneside Primary Care Trust refused funding for the drug Avastin because they said there wasn't enough evidence that the injections, which are licensed by the Government, would shrink Glen's tumours, two of which are inoperable.
But after his plight was revealed in his local newspaper, the Shields Gazette, the kind-hearted donor stepped forward to pay for treatment that could prolong Glen's life.
The donor, Kenny Vickers, who is from the Isle of Skye, but has a home in Cleadon Park, South Shields, stepped forward to donate the full amount – which will buy Glen injections for the next year.
The 34-year-old property developer and wife Melody, 33, were both touched after reading about Glen's plight.
Kenny said: "When my wife and I read last night's Gazette and saw Glen playing with his baby son, we were just in flood of tears at his circumstances.
"We are lucky enough to be quite comfortable financially, so we would like to give Glen the chance to see his children grow up and spend more time with them.
To me life is everything and very precious, and I want to give Glen the quality time he deserves with his family.
Glen's partner Yasmin Malik, 26, mum to their son Glen Jnr, said: "I don't quite know what to say, I never thought for one minute there would be people in the world as generous as this. It's not sinking in.
"We can't thank this man enough for what he has done."
Before the Good Samaritan stepped forward, Glen said of the drug: "This is basically my last chance.
"I need to start taking the injections right away, I have no time to wait. But my survival now comes down to a few thousand pounds, that's it, and I never thought it would come to this.
"The drug is not a cure, but it will hopefully prolong my life. If I could just try it for a few months, to show it's working then, maybe, I could get the funding I need."
Glen was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006 after he suffered a seizure. He had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery in 2007, and went into remission for three years.
But in September 2010, doctors discovered the tumour had returned and he needed more surgery.
At the start of 2011, the cancer was back and in April that year Glen went through gamma knife – a special type of brain radiation treatment.
Due to swelling in his head, doctors could not get clear MRI results and in October Glen's eyesight started to deteriorate – suggesting something was wrong.
After more tests and surgery last November, medics found 10 tumours – with two being inoperable.
Glen's family were told about Avastin, which stops tumours developing new blood vessels and can shrink them.
Although Avastin is licensed and can be prescribed in the UK, it has not been approved for use by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – which gives advice on which drugs should be made available to the NHS – because it considers the price too high for the extra benefit that it gives.