'Just amazing': Dad with brain tumour thanks Shropshire people for helping him raise £59,000 for treatment
A father who was diagnosed with a brain tumour just weeks ago has today thanked the people of Shropshire for helping to raise the £59,000 he needs to fund advanced treatment.
The family of Nick Haves launched a fundraising campaign after being told the NHS could not offer him the treatment he needed.
The generosity of donors, together with help from family and friends, has helped him smash the target and he is now expected to start proton beam therapy – a form of targeted radiotherapy – in less than a fortnight.
"What a fantastic place we live in," said the father-of-two, from Sheriffhales.
"The community has come together, it's just amazing.
"It's crazy, in such a short space of time I now have enough money for the treatment and I'm booked in for treatment at the Rutherford Centre in South Wales on November 4.
"I've found it very humbling and would like to thank everyone for their support."
Nick's brain tumour was caused by cranial radiotherapy which he received in 1996 as a result of treatment he had for leukaemia.
The 46-year-old has lost use of his left eye, due to it closing completely, and now needs proton beam therapy to shrink the size of the tumour and prevent further health complications.
Due to his age, he was told he is not eligible to receive it as an NHS patient and could only be offered a more conventional, less targeted-type of radiotherapy.
However, Nick says he was keen to avoid going down that path after being told it was this type of treatment which caused his brain tumour in the first place.
“Back then I was obviously grateful for the treatment, but was not made aware what the long-term side effects would be and that it would later down the line cause the brain tumour that I have now," Nick said.
“Because of where the tumour is located at the base of my skull the risks associated with any kind of treatment are high.
“It means the only option available on the NHS is to have the same kind of radiotherapy which caused the tumour in the first instance so it seems a bit of a vicious circle."
Nick's family decided to launch the fundraising campaign after being inspired by the family of Shifnal woman Christel Callow, who they met this year.
Christel, who has a rare brain tumour, raised enough money for proton beam therapy following a fundraising drive by her close family and friends.
Doctors insisted Nick start the treatment later this month so with no time to spare his wife Caroline, son Daniel, 15, daughter Olivia, 13, and friends rallied together to launch a JustGiving page.
Nick will now have to stay away from home for six weeks while he undergoes the treatment.
He will need 28 doses to shrink the growing tumour and reduce the chances of him developing further tumours as well as potential blindness, cognitive and memory problems on top of life-threatening seizures.
Thanking people on his JustGiving page, Nick wrote: "I am delighted to tell you that with all the other fundraising events and support from family, friends, the incredible local community and schools, that our target for fundraising has now been reached.
"This has been a rollercoaster ride of only three weeks which each and every one of you have made possible. "On behalf of Caroline, Daniel, Olivia and myself I would like to humbly thank each and everyone of you, for your help and messages of support over the past few weeks.
"I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness you have shown to me and my family.
"It has been an amazing response from friends both new and old, friends of my family and people whom I have never even met."