Brave family's fighting spirit
A St Peter’s family have been battling through a series of ordeals during “a terrible year”.
It began with Ade Newman developing a brain tumour then his wife, Terra, having suspected skin cancer.
American-born Mrs Newman was also unable to visit her dying mother in Florida because of her husband’s illness, compounded by travel restrictions in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Newman’s tumour was discovered in August last year following an MRI scan.
Although he had it removed it returned, twice as big as before, and he was told by the NHS it could not do any more for him.
The engineer had previously been fit, cycling 200 miles a week, before his problems began in June.
“He just came home from work one day and said ‘my head feels funny’,” said Mrs Newman, adding: “He literally got worse every single day.”
He had two rounds of chemotherapy in September and October but was given the devastating news he had only a month to live before Christmas.
The tenacity of the family, including son Cove, 12 and daughter Ever, 8, in the face of the terminal diagnosis extended the 49-year-old’s life, however, as, aided by friends, they launched a fundraising campaign for treatments and drugs to battle Mr Newman’s Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
His tumour was fast growing and “very aggressive” Mrs Newman, 45, explained, adding it had not responded to chemotherapy.
He has undergone Whole Brain Radiotherapy (WBRT) alongside using the experimental drug, Ibrutinib, which is not funded by the NHS, for CNS Lymphoma.
The family and their supporters have been raising cash for an array of treatment options, such as Proton Beam Therapy and Gamma Knife.
Mrs Newman said: “CAR-T Therapy is one treatment we know could put him in remission but at the cost of nearly £500,000 is pretty much unattainable for us.”
As well as living longer than expected Mr Newman’s condition improved as he recovered around 90 per cent of his memory and had sessions on an exercise bike following a period when he was unable to walk. He is due to have a scan in mid-February, with the possibility of a stem cell transplant to follow.
Mrs Newman explained: “The stem cell can give him nine months, a couple of years. The road ahead is uncertain.”
She added: “We’re trying to have an arsenal, a supply of things we can pull out when we need to.”
With treatment and drugs bills running at between £3,000 and £5,000 a month, Mrs Newman said: “We’re trying to get as much money together as we can.”
She herself was awaiting an appointment to determine whether a mole on her arm was cancerous.
Her mother died in September from a heart problem but she was unable to see her before she passed away. Summing up the family’s ordeals Mrs Newman said: “What is going on? It’s been a terrible year. How much can one family take, really? We’re getting there – it’s been slow.”
A fundraising page set up by family friend, Helen Mason-Bedford at gofundme.com/f/the-gift-of-time-proton-beam-therapy, had raised almost £24,000 as South Worcester Voice went to print.
Another, justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lyndon-collins, set up by Mr Newman’s best friend and raising money on a Peloton virtual ride, had passed the £7,000 mark.
The brave Newman family, Ade, Terra, and their son Cove and daughter Ever