Family and friends are desperately campaigning to raise over £40,000 needed to pay for pioneering treatment for a young Sleaford man who has been battling a rare and aggressive brain tumour for the last six years.
They have set up a Justgiving page online for Lance Schofield, 29, for potentially life saving treatment as he runs out of options on the NHS.
Lance has been diagnosed with a stage four brain tumour and without assistance he cannot afford to seek trial treatment in Germany. Scientists in Germany have offered ground breaking immunotherapy which costs in the region of £40,000 per session.
Mum, Lynne, said: “All the NHS can offer now is chemotherapy and the tumour still keeps growing after having lots of doses of the drugs.”
He has also been taking some trial treatment with Care Oncology in London for six weeks recommended by his consultant which has had promising results, and they will see him again in the new year to see how he is progressing
Lynne said: “The science behind this is that well known drugs are taken that starve/kill the cancer cells and which don’t have the damaging side effects of chemotherapy.”
A keen motoring fan and former mechanic Lance’s mum Lynne says that the nightmare began back in October 2012 when Lance started complaining of headaches and would not wake up.
Doctors could not explain it until an optician spotted something on his optic nerve. Pilgrim Hospital admitted him for a CT and MRI scan and he was transferred to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he was diagnosed with a Anaplastic Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma, an extremely rare brain tumour, where they would operate and remove it. He was given steroids to try to stop it growing.
Lynne said: “I can’t really explain how we felt other than it’s something that happens to other people.”
Due to the type of tumour he was told he would need radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Lynne said: “After that call is the only time in all of this that Lance actually said, ‘why me, what have I ever done to deserve this?’ He never complains, just says ‘that’s how it is’.
“One of the first things Dr Murray (his then consultant) said turned my stomach, ‘you no longer have the normal lifespan of a man your age’ and it always sticks with me. She also said it was the type of tumour that can come back, and it’s not so easy to treat if it does.”
Lance went through six weeks of daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy while ballooning due to the steroids.
After an all clear, Lance eventually got his driving licence back, pending investigations, and got a new job in Grimsby, but was then told the DVLA had revoked his licence on medical grounds, meaning he had to give up his new job, and move back to his parents’.
Having done Civil Engineering at college he got a job as a site engineer with a construction firm where his dad, Tony, worked, meaning he could rely on lifts. However in 2015 Lance passed out at work and the tumour was found to have returned needing another operation to remove it. Again it returned, despite more and more doses of chemotherapy, bringing on the occasional seizure.
This was when they heard about the clinic in Germany and friends and family raised £6,000 to remove a sample of the tumour for testing. Meanwhile the tumour was starting to press on his optic nerve and he had more surgery in July to reduce its size.
Lynne said: “For the first time in the six years Lance has been dealing with this he got really low, not eating, drinking and not wanting to get out of bed. You couldn’t blame him, he’s been the strongest of us throughout this.”