A former pub landlord who has an incurable cancer has stepped forward to help fund vital research into the condition.
Dee Fowler, who used to run the Lord Napier, completed a five-mile walk this week to raise funds for Myeloma UK. The charity funds research into the rare illness, which originates in bone marrow and for which there is no cure.
Mr Fowler, who was diagnosed with the condition four years ago, has already raised almost £1,000 – nearly double his initial fundraising target.
And he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received so far.
He said: “People I’ve never heard of have given online, on Facebook. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
Although it is among the most common forms of bone marrow cancer and around 5,000 people are diagnosed with it in the UK each year, it only accounts for around one per cent of all the nation’s cancer cases.
On Tuesday, Mr Fowler was joined by several members of his family for a five-mile fundraising walk around the Walks park to raise funds for Myeloma UK.
He took the challenge as part of the charity’s Walk With Me campaign, staged to coincide with last week’s Myeloma Awareness Week.
So far, Mr Fowler has raised more than £900 for the charity, well in excess of his initial £500 target.
He said: “It’s absolutely brilliant for such a deserving charity that is close to my heart.”
Mr Fowler, who is a former landlord of the Lord Napier pub, has been receiving donations from as far afield as Australia, where several of his relatives now live, and said Facebook, which he only joined a few weeks ago, had been vital to help spread the message.
“Thank God for Facebook,” he said.
Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, occurs when plasma cells made in a patient’s bone marrow become abnormal, multiply rapidly and release a single substance called paraprotein that has no useful function.
Unlike other cancers, it is not seen in the form of a lump or tumour and is often monitored by measuring the level of paraprotein in a patient’s body.
Although Mr Fowler’s condition has been stable for much of the period since its diagnosis, he is now undergoing treatment again after the level of paraprotein in his system increased rapidly.
Chemotherapy drugs, thalidomide and steroids are often used to treat the symptoms of the disease, but there is currently no cure.
Myeloma UK currently supports people who are living with the disease and helps to fund research into a cure.
Mr Fowler said: “They don’t get any more from the government for reseach. Charity pays for it.”
Anyone who would like to support Mr Fowler’s appeal make a donation can do so online at https://walkwithme.everydayhero.com/uk/dee