A GRANDAD who’s fighting for his life says a simple at-home test could save his life – but he needs your help.
Terry Brownbill, pictured with granddaughter Orla, is currently battling an aggressive cancer[/caption]
The former Sun reporter is now calling for Brits’ help[/caption]
The 69-year-old and daughter Jess are calling for people to take a simple at-home test to see if they can save his life[/caption]
But all the harsh treatments will be a waste if he doesn’t get one thing – a stem cell transplant.
The 69-year-old is now calling for Brits to undergo a simple test to see if they can help.
Terry told The Sun: “I didn’t even know it existed, none of us did.
“The test is really easy to do.
“And I don’t have a lot of time – what greater present could you give to a stranger at this time of year?”
The grandad-of-three and his daughter Jess, 33, are now calling for every Brit to sign up as a donor to see if they’re a match – and say it takes just minutes to test.
There are thousands of Brits on a waiting list for a transplant, and donors may never be called and asked to help as they may never be a match.
And Jess says that while the word transplant sounds “invasive”, it’s not – it’s as simple as giving blood.
Terry, who worked at The Sun between 1986-1991, started feeling unwell in November.
He’d always been fit and had just returned from biking in Toronto with son Michael so knew something was wrong when he couldn’t get out of bed.
He’d tested positive for Covid in the days earlier and doctors told him he was just battling the after effects of the virus, but he knew better.
Terry added: “I said ‘if I don’t go to hospital I’m going to die’.”
The grandad began his first round of chemotherapy on his 69th birthday.
Initially, it was thought chemo and radiotherapy would fight the cancer off, but specialists quickly said this was not the case.
Even if he completed his treatments and went into remission, the cancer would likely come back without a stem cell transplant.
It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
He believes with the help of Brits he will find a match, adding: “You just have to live in hope.”
Daughter Jess said she was in awe of her dad’s positivity.
She said: “He’s amazing, he’s not been negative about it once.
“He used to be a boxer and he said ‘this is the fight of my life’.”
But the mum-of-two is also calling for people to rally around her dad – and the thousands of others needing stem cell transplants.
Jess said: “He needs a 100% match – we’re desperate.
“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”
What is acute myeloid leukaemia?
The NHS says leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells. Acute leukaemia means it progresses quickly and aggressively and usually requires immediate treatment.
Acute leukaemia is classified according to the type of white blood cells affected.
The two main types of white blood cells are:
- monocytes and granulocytes, which come from myeloid stem cells
- lymphocytes, which come from lymphoid stem cells
The symptoms of AML usually develop over a few weeks and become worse over time.
Symptoms can include:
- looking pale or “washed out”
- feeling tired or weak
- frequent infections
- unusual and frequent bruising or bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds
- losing weight without trying to
It’s not clear exactly what causes AML and, in most cases, there’s no identifiable cause.
But some things can increase your risk of getting AML, including:
- previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- exposure to very high levels of radiation (including previous radiotherapy treatment)
- smoking and other exposure to benzene, a chemical used in manufacturing that’s also found in cigarette smoke
- having a blood disorder or some genetic conditions, such as Down’s syndrome
AML is a rare type of cancer, with around 3,100 people diagnosed with it each year in the UK.
The risk of developing AML increases with age. It’s most common in people over 75.
Treatment for AML needs to begin as soon as possible, as it can develop quickly.
Chemotherapy is the main treatment for AML. It’s used to kill as many leukaemia cells in your body as possible and reduce the risk of the condition coming back (relapsing).
In some cases, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be needed, in combination with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
She’s begging people to now order a test, which she said takes minutes to do, for Terry – who she says is “the best dad in the world”.
The 33-year-old continued: “It’s literally seconds – it’s like doing a Covid test.
“I’d never heard of it but we need anyone and everyone to sign up.”
Jess continued: “It’s really hard to see dad in this position.
“He’s the best dad in the world. He’s very supportive.
“He’ll always drop everything and stop what he’s doing and come and help you out.”
Terry started his first round of chemo on his birthday[/caption]
Daughter Jess is pleading with the public to help her dad[/caption]