Isle charity gives hope to rare cancer dad

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Isle charity TeamVerrico is launching an appeal to ensure ‘cutting edge’ treatment for a young dad with a rare form of cancer.

Jon Chapman was in hospital receiving treatment for a water infection when a shock diagnosis of cancer was given, in December last year.

TeamVerrico, that supports cancer victims and their families along with specific research projects, acted quickly to help the 36-year old father of Joshua, four, and Ellie, six.

Jon had suffered no illness before and keeps in shape. He has run the Epworth half-marathon twice.

Treated for what he considered to be minor prostate issues from October last year, it wasn’t until mid-December that Jon was re-admitted to hospital following a water infection that persisted.

His wife Julie said: “A consultant arrived to tell us the results from a biopsy sent away four weeks earlier. We were given the devastating news that Jon has cancer and were shocked to say the least.”

It was on Christmas Eve that a telephone call to the family revealed the cancer had spread.

Julie continued: “We then seemed to take even more blows as we were told the diagnosis was very rare and unusual. We have gone through what feels like months of emotional turmoil with no clear diagnosis or understanding of the best way to treat this cancer.”

Jon eventually received chemotherapy in Sheffield. TeamVerrico was told of his situation by his workmate Paul Street, who lives in Epworth, and made contact.

Julie added: “We were blown away by how efficiently they instigated an appointment with a professor on Harley Street. Jon is undergoing further tests and we are optimistic of what may come next. Paul and the team are in contact regularly and I can’t thank them enough.”

A sum of £3,000 is needed initially to fund exploratory genetic work.

Paul Verrico, who lost his late wife Anna to a rare form of breast cancer, said: “We will fund genetic sequencing to pinpoint Jon’s type of cancer and how to best target therapy. We referred Jon to the Harley Street clinic where he is under the care of Professor Justin Stebbing.

“Jon’s cancer is rare and not treatable by traditional methods as not enough is known about how it replicates. Cutting edge science is required to assist in pinpointing the markers that will allow the best possible outcome. TeamVerrico is determined to assist in improving Jon’s outcome.”

Jon, of Scawsby, will undergo more chemotherapy and some genetic testing next week. He said: “The help from TeamVerrico has been amazing. Paul has shown me that there are treatments worth finding out about. Professor Stebbing believes the way to beat cancer is to find the faulty genes and target them. It may be my children have to be tested too at some point.”

Fund raising initiatives are already in the planning, with a charity football match being organised by Paul Street. TeamVerrico treasurer Jackie McHale is to do a sky-dive, and TeamVerrico’s major fundraiser details, of its summer charity ball on June 13 at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe, have just been released. Tickets are on sale now for the glittering event with three-course meal, live music and comedy entertainment, celebrity guests and dancing, via the website www.teamverrico.org

The registered charity is designed to ‘help those facing the kind of cancers which can destroy families’.