Fundraising to help Sleaford family hit by tumour bombshell that dad-of-two, Matt (30) faces surgery to remove his tongue

L-R Leah Still and Andrea Odam at Great Hale Village Hall Pamper Day. EMN-171007-104916001
L-R Leah Still and Andrea Odam at Great Hale Village Hall Pamper Day. EMN-171007-104916001

The family of a young father are desperately fundraising after he was hit with the news surgeons may need to cut out his tongue to save his life.

Just a month ago, Matt Still, 30, of Sleaford, was visiting his parents in Sutton Bridge and complained of pain from an absess in his mouth.

Happier times. Matt and Leah Still with children Lily, 5, and Skyla, 3. EMN-171007-181634001

Happier times. Matt and Leah Still with children Lily, 5, and Skyla, 3. EMN-171007-181634001

Wife Leah, 24, who he married just last year, explained: “His mum said he must go to A&E as it didn’t look like an absess and since then he has had scans, biopsies and all sorts and it is a lot to take in.”

Doctors have given them the shock diagnosis that Matt has a stage four cancerous tumour on his tongue, meaning the likelihood of a cure is reduced to 25-30 per cent. They are awaiting further test results today (Wednesday) before doctors make a decision on treatment.

The news is even more stunning with Matt not being a drinker or smoker.

Leah said: “The tumour is so large there is a possibility that all of his tongue will have to be removed.”

There is also the possibility of some of his jaw being removed and then rebuilt through a skin graft with six weeks of daily radiotherapy.

“He would have trouble speaking and swallowing, meaning he would have his food pureed and filtered through a tube into his stomach,” she said.

Self-employed Matt has had to give up work in construction, while Leah has put her job in Fillets fish and chip shop on hold to look after him and their two children, Lily, five, and Skyla, two. She had also just qualified as a hairdresser and was planning to go self employed.

The news has been shattering for all the family, while Matt comes to terms with his diagnosis. Leah said: “It is a struggle with the kids.

“Matt spends a lot of time in pain or sleeping. The kids cannot be around him as they are very active and it keeps him awake.”

She added: “All the treatment is being done in Norwich, but we live in Sleaford and we don’t drive. All the family have been pulling together helping with transportation and caring for the children.

“Waiting for a diagnosis has been a pain as you expect everything to be done and dusted quickly but they keep doing more tests.”

With no income, the couple who live on Jubilee Grove, have applied to receive benefits but cannot complete the process until they have a full prognosis on Matt’s condition, which could take up to 12 weeks. They would also get support from Macmillan.

Leah’s mum, Andrea Odam, from Greylees, ran a fundraising stall at a Pamper Day in Great Hale village hall on Sunday, while Matt’s family find more ways to raise money. They have set up a gofundme page at: https://www.gofundme.com/bbew25-mattys-fight-against-cancer and raised £1,360 so far.