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Frome man with terminal cancer thanks fundraisers for life-prolonging treatment

A FROME man diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer has thanked fundraisers for so far raising over £25,000 to pay for treatment to help prolong his life.

33-year old Benjamin Millard was diagnosed with terminal stage four bowel cancer in August last year. Since his diagnosis, he has had an operation to remove the primary tumour and is receiving chemotherapy treatment. 

However, during surgery it was discovered that the cancer had spread to other parts of Benjamin’s body. This prompted his friends and family to start raising money to pay for the drug Avastin, which is not available on the NHS. Avastin is used to block the blood supply that feeds a tumour, which can stop the tumour from growing and help prolong someone’s life.

Avastin costs £2,100 to administer every two to three weeks, and Benjamin has been advised that once he starts taking it, he will need to continue on the course of treatment for as long as it is controlling the cancer. Benjamin is scheduled to start taking Avastin when he begins his fourth round of chemotherapy.

Currently the fundraising target has been set at £160,000 with part of the money raised also going towards local charity, Dorothy House Hospice Care, and to the future of Benjamin’s wife, Laura, and his step-daughter, Sophie. At the time of going to press, a total of £25,644 had been raised.

Benjamin told Frome Times, “Having burrowed my head in the sand (or under the bedcovers) from anyone and everyone I could possibly justify avoiding since the day of my real diagnosis, I have been truly humbled and taken back by all the amazing things which have happened since that time in mid-September following the removal of my tumour and when I disappeared off of the face of the earth for some people. 

“I now feel a sense of complete luck, not for the ‘health-hand’ I’ve been dealt, but for the best family and friends that instantly got on the case to find out what is going to help me and what is going to improve my quality of life. 

“Without this support network I would now be months into a terminal diagnosis without a plan, a hope or a purpose! I will try, but I cannot and don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank them enough. I love you all. 

“How could I continue to feel this impending doom, a swamping numbness and anger which is as dark a place as you can inhabit. But, when so many people had already been rooting for me and have been raising money for me in a really positive and inspiring way – this helped to acclimatise these initial fears and I am now in a place where I am much more accepting of my hand, but more importantly, completely committed to honouring this amazing work which looks set to grow strong into 2019 and beyond. 

“I want every penny raised by all these amazing people to have been worthwhile. I hope it will give me years to enjoy with my nearest and dearest, but if it doesn’t, I hope that my family are looked after and that there is also some funds which go towards Dorothy House Hospice. My commitment is to soon set up my own social media and I want to help raise awareness of this disease and keep more men, women and children out of hospital and continue to live their dreams and fulfil their destinies.”

To donate money to support Benjamin, visit the website: https://uk.gofundme.com/the-bowel-movement

Upcoming fundraising events include a football match at Larkhall Athletic FC on Sunday 13th January and an afternoon tea at Frome Town Football Club on Saturday 9th February. For more information and for fundraising updates, you can follow the Facebook page: The B0wel Movement (O in Bowel is the numerical 0); the Instagram page: @The_Bowel_Movement; and the Twitter page: @The_B_Movement

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