Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena builder David McClean struggling to fund cancer battle

By Brett Campbell

A Ballymena builder who was given a year to live last October has returned to the workplace after receiving pioneering cancer care.

But David McClean's family are desperately appealing for help so that he can continue accessing the expensive treatment.

"He's not doing what he used to do - he wouldn't be capable of manual work - but he's trying to ease himself back into a normal life by doing whatever he can," his wife Dawn said.

"He is just helping out in whatever way he can because if he was to just sit in the house he would only be thinking about one thing."

The entire family were left heartbroken when David was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as Grade 4 Glioblastoma last September, just two years after he had a tumour removed from his leg.

He was told by doctors in Belfast that the tumours were inoperable and given 12 months to live but he refused to accept the bleak prognosis.

The brave father-of-two travelled to University College London Hospital where he was required to stay awake for a seven-and-a-half hour risky operation.

"He was told his speech would be affected and that he would lose his peripheral vision, but he was totally fine afterwards and both tumours were completely removed," Dawn explained.

The building contractor was told they would start growing back immediately and knew his only chance of beating the disease was to receive immunotherapy treatment, which boosts the body's immune system to fight cancer. However, it is not available on the NHS. After a crowd-funding campaign and generous help from friends and family he was able to begin the £43,000 per session treatment on February 15, just days after he finished a six-week course of radiotherapy.

"It finished on February 13 and that night we left for London," Dawn recalled.

David has responded well and his condition has now stabilised but he needs help raising £150,000 to finish the potentially life-saving treatment.

"We need people's help, we just can't do this on our own," Dawn pleaded.

Earlier this year, Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson joined the campaign to raise awareness for the McClean family when he took to the ring as part of Raffles Rumble charity boxing match in London. "I decided to do this fight to raise as much awareness and money for David as possible," he said.

The reality TV star, who is friends with David's daughter Charlotte, continues to urge the public to get behind the crowd-funding campaign.

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