Home » latest » Brave’ dad initially went to hospital with a headache – now he is fighting for his life
brave dad initially went to hospital with a headache now he is fighting for his life

Brave’ dad initially went to hospital with a headache – now he is fighting for his life

A ‘brave’ dad who first went to hospital with a severe headache is now fighting for his life after being told he had an aggressive brain tumour. Mark Downey, 44, from Bolton, first complained of a headache last September, but knew something wasn’t quite right. He went to hospital, before scans quickly revealed he had a grade four glioblastoma, a fast-growing cancerous tumour. It was a whirlwind that his mum Eileen described as something ‘very sudden’ that ‘turned their lives upside down’. What followed was surgery and months of gruelling chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the dad-of-three. READ MORE: Family’s heartbreak after mum told she may only have a few weeks left to live following devastating Good Friday diagnosis After risky operations to remove the tumour, the genetics of the tumour were revealed as IDH wild type unmethylated, which his family say has a poor response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. Feeling like they have exhausted options in the UK; with Mark told his life expectancy was between 12 and 14 months now almost seven months ago, his loved ones are hoping to save enough money for him to have alternative treatment overseas which may save his life. “He has been so brave and amazing given the fact that we don’t know what’s in store for him,” Eileen told the M.E.N. “We haven’t been given a lot of information or told what to expect when he finishes this course of chemotherapy. He’s been through so much treatment and we have still got no future at the moment. “It all happened very suddenly; he had a severe headache and knew it was different. He was otherwise very fit and healthy – it came out of the blue. From there he had a scan and it all happened so quickly. “But Mark knew by the severity of the headache, that something wasn’t right. Had he dismissed it, it could have been so much worse.” In the October, Mark, a HGV driver, underwent major, life-risking surgery in a bid to remove the tumour from his brain. He has since been receiving treatment including daily radiation for six weeks and chemotherapy medication. Due to limited treatments available for Mark’s stage and rarity of tumour, Mark’s loved ones are trying to give him a ‘fighting chance’ by fundraising for various treatments overseas, such as Car T-Cell therapy. Mark’s most recent MRI scan revealed that his tumour measured at 1.4cm, which means that the radiotherapy and chemotherapy has not been successful – and his family fear time could soon run out. They are not only trying to fundraise; but also raise more awareness about the condition and the lack of funding for clinical trials in the UK for glioblastoma. Mark has now lost his hair and has been left lethargic and drained due to the gruelling treatments – but despite this, his mum said his spirit ‘remains unbroken’. His sister Steph told the M.E.N: “It’s almost like getting shut down at every turn. Like the only way we can make noise is by putting a GoFundMe page together. “We are already seven months into the 12-14 month life expectancy he was given. He has had 35 sessions of radiotherapy and is on his third cycle of chemotherapy but it isn’t working.” His mum Eileen added: “You can’t come to terms with it; especially when we don’t know what the next course of treatment will be.” On the GoFundMe page, she penned: “Mark is a very private person but the most brave soul, who dreams off any extra time he can have extra with his family. Mark’s greatest desire is to watch his son graduate High school; he dreams of the day he can share of the joy for prom night, standing tall like any father should. “Time is just not in his favour right now. His spirit remains unbroken. As a parent it is heart-wrenching to witness your child endure such a battle, and we are reaching out to our community for support.” Donations can be made online here.

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