Shropshire Star

'We have to do what we can': Ex-Wolves player in campaign to fund cancer treatment for mother of two

Former Wolves player Jon Purdie has launched a fundraising campaign for his cancer-stricken partner who needs life-saving drugs which are not available on the NHS.

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Jon Purdie and his partner Karrie Michalczyk

Jon's partner Karrie is just 43 years old and faces leaving her two children orphans after her husband died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair met a year ago, just before Karrie went in remission after cancer - but in recent months the cruel disease has returned.

Jon, 56, told the Express & Star: "Karrie is such an amazing person, partner and mother and she is undergoing chemotherapy but needs drugs to fight the tumour which are not on the NHS.

"When I met her she had bowel cancer and had an operation, and she was in remission for almost a year. And then it came back to her liver and lungs, and she has had more operations.

"The biggest thing is we are trying to raise money for drugs which work alongside chemotherapy which kill the tumour."

Jon added: "She lost her husband doing Covid, so we need her to be around because if she is not the children will have to be fostered.

"All I can do is try to be a positive influence in her life and give her happy experiences, like when we went on holiday to Thailand before Christmas.

"We do not know what the future holds, it is all very sad but we have to do what we can."

Jon made 103 appearances in the Old Gold scoring 13 times between 1985 and 1988, and was a fan favourite. He subsequently played for Shrewsbury Town and Kidderminster Harriers and lived in Bridgnorth until recently, when he moved to Market Harborough to be close to his elderly parents.

A JustGiving page has been set up with a target of £20,000, which has raised over £4,000 since it was launched before Christmas.

Karrie said: "I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2021. Shortly after my husband passed away with Covid.

"I'm a mum of two beautiful kids, my daughter is 12 and my son is 16 - they are everything to me and as you might know I am everything they have. We have no family around so when I pass away my children will end up in foster care and that's why I'm so desperate to stay alive for a little longer to make sure they are okay.

"I had surgery to remove my primary tumour back in 2021 but this year cancer took a toll and it has spread to my liver and lungs. Unfortunately, my recent scan showed multiple lesions on both lungs and surgery is not an option for me."

Karrie, who has not been able to work for two years, added: "I'm waiting for my team to come up with some plan which will be chemotherapy due to my mutations, NRAS. I'm not eligible for immunotherapy or targeted therapy. I'm devastated but I'm fully aware there are drugs out there to help me fight this disease and give me more time with my children.

"I would like to add a drug called Avastin which is a great treatment but not available on the NHS."

Jon is an acclaimed after-dinner speaker and released a book in 2021, Purds, Booze and Footy, which lifted the lid of his on- and off-field football career.

Jon was in Kidderminster this weekend for a league-winning 30th anniversary dinner, and still has friends and fans in the area after his playing exploits - he played for Kidderminster Harriers and Telford United in the 1990s.

Jon Purdie played for Wolves in the 1980s

He said: "It's great being back and meeting so many old faces, I love chatting to fans. I hope people will back Karrie's fundraising campaign."

To donate to Karrie's campaign visit the JustGiving link or search for Karrie Karolina Michalczyk on the site.