Now family and friends are trying to raise 20,000 pounds through Stuart’s justgiving page to enable his Glioblastoma treatment as he has been accepted at a pioneering clinic called CeGat in Germany.
The very expensive treatment should start in the next six weeks, with the hope of saving his life. In the UK apart from the standard care there is only so much the NHS can do and there are no further treatment options available, however, at CeGat they are developing a personalised neoptide vaccine which will train Stuart’s immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells.
Following the diagnosis, Stuart and his girlfriend, Esther, tied the knot in February and organised a lockdown wedding in just 36 hours and are determined to beat cancer and to have a baby through IVF.
I spoke with Stuart’s father, David Bathers, who is 72 and who has lived just outside Portimão with his partner Grace Loving, since 2018. He told me that prior to this, he had been coming to the Algarve, on holiday since 2015, staying at the Alto Golf apartments, in Alvor. Stuart has lived and had numerous holidays here in the Algarve and built a strong connection with this place as they were both avid golfers. “Stuart has played since he was 16 and we have played at a lot of golf courses across the Algarve, including Alto Golf, Penina and Pestana. Stuart was also a very keen keep fit fan and he would use the EVOC health club in Portimão and the Buganvilia Fitness club and he loved swimming at the beach, with his favourite being Meia Praia”.
He kindly shared Stuart’s story with me and hopes that by getting his story out there he can raise awareness and raise funds to save his sons life.
“It’s a difficult journey to go down but when it’s your own son it’s hard to bear”. It has been a struggle all round and we are hoping for good news as everything has been bad news so far with Stuart’s prognosis being 12 months”. David also told me that they have exhausted all the options available in the UK which is why raising the funds necessary for the CeGat treatment is so vital. He is also made the important point that “there has been no breakthroughs in treatment for this particular cancer, in 30 years” and that they have been trying to push for further funding by contacting MPs as “the NHS spend millions if not billions on cancer but only 12 percent is actually spent on brain tumours, which is the lowest category to be funded.” Evidently, more needs to be done and “attention needs to be brought to this as we are trying to save someone’s life and what has shocked us is that we had never heard of this and now all of a sudden it’s almost as if every other family is going through something like this”.
With time working against them, David told me, “We really need everybody’s help and generosity” and that they are very appreciative of anyone who does, “as positivity is a big thing for us at the moment.”
Stuart and his wife Esther and their whole family have been extremely proactive in the fight against cancer and have refused to take the news lying down. David told me that Stuart has been so brave and a real fighter and has accredited his fighting spirit to his North Walian surname. “You’ve got to face what is put in front of you and do the best you can” and they have done a lot of research and created a personalised cancer care plan in regards to Stuart’s diet and therapy, “After the diagnosis we cut out all dairy, sugar, processed foods, simple carbohydrates, and on the advice of a kinesiologist, Stu had started taking a wide range of supplements, from curcumin, to D and B vitamins. We also added in integrative therapies, including acupuncture, cranial osteopathy and more. In short, we felt we had to be proactive to fight the cancer, we couldn’t just give in. Everyone’s DNA is different, and we had to personalise his cancer care.” David told me that his daughter “Laura has done so much research and read so many books and has been on lots of phone ins and so has Stuart’s wife, Esther, who has been reading anything and everything and even speaking to Doctors in America at 2am, due to the time difference.”
However, you can help make all the difference, as these donations will go towards lifesaving treatment to keep their family together and give Stuart the best shot at beating this aggressive disease.
I urge you to please kindly donate as any amount at all helps during such a difficult time. Their initial justgiving page raised nearly 60,000 pounds through the generosity of family, close friends and even people they have not met but unfortunately, they had a hiccup with the page and were told that although all the money raised so far is safe the page stopped working due to a time limit so they have had to start a new page to raise the remaining funds needed of 20,000 pounds to pay for the treatment and for Stuart’s travel from the UK to Germany. Additionally, David Bathers told me that his daughter, Laura, and some of her friends, are doing a sponsored walk of 18 miles in one day. The sponsored walk will take place on 21 August, where they will be dressed as a superheroes as “Stuart is quite literally Laura’s super hero” with the goal of raising the money needed for her brother’s treatment. On her gofundme page she says “she could not be a prouder sister and that he is her inspiration as he has always been there for her.”
If you would like to read Stuart’s full story and to kindly donate to either Stuart’s justgiving page or Laura’s gofundme page please see:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stuart-esther and www.gofundme.com/f/doing-it-for-stu.