A heartbroken mum who is raising money to help extend her son’s life has been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness.
Sarah Webb, of Axminster, recently launched a campaign to raise £200,000 after her son, Matthew Webb, 28, was diagnosed with an incurable and highly aggressive Stage 4B metastatic adenocarcinoma (cancer), suspected to be of the thymus.
The devastating diagnosis was picked up after a routine X-ray following a chest infection in July.
So far more than £5,000 has poured in and well-wishers have organised a string of fundraising events – from bingo and sponsored swims to coffee mornings and auctions of promises.
Well-known local chef Rob Stevens has donated a personal dining experience for four people to help raise money.
The young father will hopefully this week find out if the results of blood tests, sent to Boston in America, indicate if there is a way forward for treatment that will help extend his life.
Campaign to extend Matt’s life
Sarah said that, although Matt is very ill, he is already thinking that any monies left over from donations should go towards setting up a fund to help other cancer patients access the specialist tests he has received.
“My son was lucky enough to be the first recipient in the Exeter hospital area to be given the opportunity to try out a ground-breaking test from Roche Pharmaceuticals, which is why his blood has gone to the USA,” she said.
“The results should, hopefully, be back in the next week and they may just give his specialist the answers he needs to be able to go forward with treatment. However, this test is so thorough it could come back that the treatment needed isn’t available to access here in the UK or that it a treatment hasn’t been made yet.
“If it is not good news then the money raised will be used to provide Matt with treatment and care that will allow him to stay with us for as long and as comfortable as possible.
“This could also mean allowing him not to worry about work and giving him some quality time with his family.
“The test he has received from Roche would have cost around £3,000 to access privately and it is because of this Matt is looking at setting up something to allow others the opportunity to benefit from these highly specialised and comprehensive tests.
“Unfortunately, there will be no happy ending for us and, if there are treatments out there for Matt, it could already be too late.
“He is already at stage 4B and, if it progresses, then doctors have said he could be looking at anywhere from eight weeks. However, having money available will allow Matt to benefit from any suggested add-on treatments which are not available on the NHS which can cost thousands each time.”
Sarah said that Matt, who works as a manager at Boots in Honiton, has accepted the diagnosis far better then she has.
We would like to thank each and every person who has taken the time to message us and set up fundraisers for Matt – Sarah Webb
“We are devastated,” she told East Devon News.co.uk. “We have cried a million tears but I can’t allow myself to think about the future too much. It comes over me in waves when I least expect it and I just can’t breathe with the crushing feeling of it.
“Matt is only 28 years old with a young son and has so much more to give his family and the world. His friends are also still reeling from the news and this is so evident in the messages of support we have all received.
“Matthew has only just recently got engaged to his fiancée, Kirstin, and they have a two-year-old son Jesse who needs his daddy.”
Sarah said “We would like to thank each and every person who has taken the time to message us and set up fundraisers for Matt. Also to the many, many people who have already donated (not only money but also prizes for raffles ect) to our fundraising page on Facebook (Matt’s Cancer Fight) and also now on GoFundMe.”
Donate to the Matthew Webb Medical Fundraiser – click here.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a Facebook account and want to donate, click here.
Donations can also be made through collections at Boots stores in Axminster, Honiton, Bridport and Lyme Regis.
All events already organised can be seen on the Facebook page Matt’s Cancer Fight. You can also follow Matt’s story on the page.