A RETIRED miner has given up in his attempt to gain thousands of pounds of funding for vital cancer treatment.
In August the Leader reported how great-grandfather Jimmy Chesters, 76, from Summerhill, near Gwersyllt, was left in limbo as a result of a cancer drug ‘postcode lottery’.
The drug Sorafenib (also known as Nexavar), which Mr Chesters hoped to gain access to, is only approved for financial support by the Cancer Drugs Fund for patients living in England but not Wales.
Originally diagnosed with cancerous tumours on the liver several years ago, Mr Chesters – who attends Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham– needed treatment as cancer had returned to the muscle of his bowel.
Friends and community members rallied to try to raise the £25,000-a-year bill for Mr Chesters’ drugs treatment.
But despite the best efforts of big-hearted friends and family, the hefty total proved unrealistic so Mr Chesters has decided to seek alternative treatment.
He has donated the £3,000 raised to date to charity.
“I’ve had other medication in the end as it was too much to raise,” he told the Leader.
“But the amount raised by people was absolutely brilliant and I didn’t realise I had so many friends.”
Despite the news he will not get the drug he wanted, his decision to change course means three good causes will now benefit from a four figure donation.
“I’ve given £1,000 to Hope House Hospice, £1,000 to Nightingale House Hospice and £1,000 to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham,” Mr Chesters added.
“I’m still receiving treatment and I think I’m feeling a little better.
“I would like to thank all of the Gwersyllt community as well as anyone else who has raised money.”
One of those who helped raise money was Karen Bishop, trustee at Gwersyllt Working Mens’ Club. She handed a cheque to him so the money raised could go to his chosen charities. Events included a sponsored walk up Snowdon, a bingo night and a disco.
“We saw it in the Leader and Jimmy is a member of the club so we thought we’d help him out,” said Karen.
“He’s very well known and a lot of people just brought me money. The first night was held in Gwersyllt club.
“The target was £25,000 a year but it took months just to raise £3,000.”