'Give him a chance to do all the things he’s wanted': Telford teen, 19, with incurable cancer backed by community
When Tyrese Bernard was diagnosed with incurable cancer, his family wanted to ensure he had a chance to do all the things he wanted to do with his life.
And the online community followed suit – nearly £2,500 has been raised to allow the Telford teenager to tick items off his bucket list.
Tyrese, 19, was told he had bowel cancer in January 2018, and has spent the best part of two years undergoing operations, hospital visits and chemotherapy.
But earlier this month he received the news that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, and was incurable.
After receiving the bad news, Tyrese’s mum Sharon Wynn decided to launch a fundraiser to help him experience new and interesting things.
“He’s only 19,” she said. “He hasn’t really had the chance to have a life, so I want to make sure he gets to experience his dreams.
“He is the most loving, kind and brave person I know and it literally breaks my heart that this has happened to him.”
Tyrese Bernard said he was grateful for the thousands of pounds raised to help him tick off items on his bucket list, which includes a holiday abroad and a skydiving trip.
Despite the terrible news, Tyrese is staying positive and looking at other options.
“There has to be some way to help manage,” he said. “Not necessarily to cure it or anything, but to get it to an extent where they can operate and do something about it.
“It’s been hard, but you’ve got to be strong about it. It could have been a lot worse. We’ve always looked at it in a positive way. It gets your mind off stuff.”
So far nearly £2,500 has been raised through the online fundraiser. More than 160 people have donated to the cause and nearly 2,000 people have shared it on social media.
“I’m grateful for all the support online,” Tyrese said. “You don’t get people doing that every day. I don’t know what we’d have done without it. It’s been really amazing.”
Sharon said the reaction to the fundraiser had been a positive at a very difficult time.
“I’m really shocked,” she said. “I never expected so many people to respond to it.
“On the first day, the total just went up and up. Some people we don’t even know sent me lovely messages saying Tyrese deserves everything he wants.”
Although the diagnosis of cancer came last year, the issues had been going on for several months before that.
“I never once thought it could be cancer,” Sharon added. “The doctor said it was super rare for someone his age to get bowel cancer. We were all heartbroken.
“We’d been back and forth to the doctors. He had stomach pains, he was losing weight. They diagnosed a few different things. Our lives have just been hospitals, blood tests and chemotherapy.”
Sharon said she was conflicted by the situation.
“They can’t treat it, they can just slow it down,” she said. “I want to give him a chance to do all the things he’s wanted to do. I’m still quite conflicted, but we’re trying to make the best of a bad situation. It seems so unfair.”
Tyrese and his family travelled to Manchester earlier this week to visit specialist cancer hospital The Christie.
While the cancer is terminal, blood and tumour tissue samples were sent to America for analysis, in the hope he may be able to take part in new drug trials that could reduce the spread of the cancer and extend Tyrese’s life.
For updates about Tyrese or to donate visit gofundme.com/zuteha-my-sons-dreams
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