Monday, 12 October 2020 17:34

Proton therapy is Calne grandfather's last hope to cure throat cancer - but it costs £63,000 Featured

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A CARING grandfather left reeling from the news that he has a complex cancer hopes that an expensive treatment could cure him.

Chris Huff first felt symptoms at the start of lockdown while working extra hours to support the NHS’ IT department and learned in July that he had a tumour in his throat.

Surgery to remove the 48-year-old’s voicebox was cancelled and traditional radiotherapy is considered too dangerous due to a previous course Chris underwent when he had cancer as an 18-year-old.

So targeted proton beam therapy is now his last hope for survival – but it costs more than £63,000 to start the treatment.

Chris, from Calne, said: “My main goal is to survive this so I can see my grandson grow up and visit my family in the USA, who I have not seen for many years.

“The thought of dying without ever seeing them again, and without supporting and seeing my grandchild, nephews and nieces grow is one of my deepest regrets and a thought I find too upsetting to bear at times.

“You can imagine the shock when the surgery was cancelled. The devastation was instant, terrifying and unbelievably powerful.

“I do not want this to be the end. I have embraced life and want to continue to do so, supporting others where I can. I don’t believe we humans are meant to exist in isolation and whatever ones’ personal beliefs, we are connected if we allow ourselves to be.”

A fundraiser set up a week ago to cover the costs has already raised over £16,000 but there is still a long way to go. The Huffs will pay for any dental treatment while the NHS pays for the chemotherapy.

He has been advised to start PBT after his second round of chemo ends on October 19.

Chris is overwhelmed by the support people have offered so far.

Born in Texas, he married and lived with his wife Jacqui there for three years before spending a decade in Calne.

She said: “Chris is the most amazing, warm, caring, hardworking, intelligent, thoughtful, funny and human person. This world needs people like Chris. Without him in it, everything gets a bit darker, less beautiful.

“Throughout this struggle, he has shown amazing courage, rarely complains, and tries to hold everything together. Chris is always thinking about how things will impact on others and that is tearing him apart as much as everything else he is going through.

“We can’t help but feel low at times but he keeps forging forward and won’t give up. He’s an amazing person and still does what he can to support others, despite his current illness.

“We are still planning for the future. I hope deeply that the shadow which accompanies our discussions will soon be lifted.”

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