Raising vital funds for life saving research into Ewing sarcoma.

Chris was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in June 2018 after seven months seeking a diagnosis. He began complaining of back pain in summer 2017 just as he was starting his probation year as a newly qualified teacher, and first went to the GP about it in October that year as it was beginning to affect his sleep and his mobility. As an otherwise fit, healthy young man his symptoms weren’t taken seriously enough, and unfortunately by the time he was diagnosed he had metastatic tumours in his lungs. Despite the devastating news, Chris was relieved to finally have a reason behind his pain and was fully prepared to confront his disease head on.

Chris was an incredibly brave, patient and laid back guy – qualities that got him through his gruelling cancer treatment and helped his family and friends to cope too. His medical team always praised how easy he was to look after – he was so chilled out about it all! He never wanted to worry or upset anyone – I frequently heard him frame his bad news to friends and family as “I have cancer – but it’s not that bad!”

His consultant told us that although he was aiming to rid Chris of his disease, with an inoperable tumour and metastases to the lungs, we were fighting an uphill battle. But scans after only a couple of rounds of chemo showed fantastic progress, and we began to feel cautiously optimistic. As his tumours shrunk, his pain pretty much disappeared and his mobility improved. After a few short months he was almost back to his old self – if not physically, then definitely in spirit. His wicked sense of humour kept us all going. We had a great six months. We took trips to the Highlands, since we couldn’t go abroad. He managed to get out walking on his crutches – he was a keen walker and had completed the West Highland Way with his mum – which was a huge step. He passed an assessment to get back to driving again and bought a new car. With his independence back, he started making plans to get back into work. The future was looking pretty bright.

At the start of 2019, Chris started getting pain in his back again. It very quickly went from a small twinge to the same agony that he’d experienced before, and yet in our optimism we never expected it to be anything serious. He had scans, and on the 19th of February his medical team had to tell him that his treatment had stopped working, the tumours had become resistant to his chemotherapy and there was no hope for a cure. Although we were all completely devastated, we held out hope for a clinical trial which would hopefully control the spread of the disease. He went into hospital to begin the new trial chemotherapy on the 11th of March, but a further scan showed even worse news – the disease had spread from his pelvis and lungs to his entire body in less than a fortnight, and there was nothing they could offer other than palliative care. Chris died aged 31 on the 25th of March surrounded by myself, his parents and his younger sister.

Chris is so, so loved and missed by me, his parents, sisters, nieces and extended family, my family, his friends and his colleagues. Everyone who met him could see what a kind, genuine and funny person he was. The Bone Cancer Research Trust were very informative and supportive during Chris’ treatment and have continued to support me, and I’m so glad for the opportunity to continue fundraising for them. Their work in training medical staff in the symptoms of bone cancer is very important to me as no one should have to fight for a diagnosis like we did. Chris didn’t like a fuss but he would be so chuffed to know that other people with Ewing sarcoma are being helped in his name and hopefully one day no more young, fit, healthy people will die from this disease.

Thank you so much for visiting Chris's Page, it means so much to me - Kirsty, Chris's girlfriend

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