“We won’t go down without a fight” - family of man with terminal cancer raising £70,000 for treatment
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A father-of-two with terminal cancer and his family are in a desperate race against time to raise £70,000 for treatment abroad or face palliative care.
Damion Burbank, 38, along with wife Emily and girls Olive, three and Arabella, five, had their world turned upside down in September 2017 when they were told his rare and complex form of pancreatic cancer had returned, and was fatal.
Has last chance on the NHS was a final six months of chemotherapy which has recently come to an end, and he is now exploring further options to give him more time with his wife and daughters.
'This cannot be sustained in the long term as it severely weakens the immune system, can cause other serious health problems, and increases the risk different cancers appearing due to the toxicity of the treatment,' said Mrs Burbank.
'The only option for Damion if he stays with the NHS is palliative care involving chemotherapy and radiation treatment.'
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The Yelverton family thought they had the all clear in 2016 when, after intensive chemotherapy and surgery to remove half Mr Burbank's liver, the cancer had disappeared from his abdomen and his bones were dormant.
But their hopes were dashed last year when they were told the Acinar cell carcinoma had returned. It has spread to his liver, ribs, pelvis and spine and his prognosis is poor.
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'We won't go down without a fight,' added Mrs Burbank, 36, 'Damion is quite simply the most wonderful husband and father a wife could wish for and our children completely adore him.
'I'm sure you can all imagine what it would be like to face the prospect of losing the most important person to you and imagining a future for your children without their father.'
In a last bid to give Mr Burbank more time with his family they are now exploring treatments at clinics abroad.
They hope to raise £70,000 for genetic testing and initial treatment.
'I would look at any possible treatment option if it would allow me to spend more time with my girls,' said Mr Burbank.
'I am only 38 and my wife and daughters need me and I need them. I am determined to fight this disease so I can spend more precious time with my beautiful family.'
Fund raising events will be held through the year and Mrs Burbank will be running the Norwich Half Marathon in April. More than £28,000 has been raised already.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/damion-burbank-1