A YOUNG man whose family is being forced to raise £2,000 a week for life-prolonging drugs said the NHS has put a price on his life.
Reece Hawley, 21, who was diagnosed with two brain tumours, is now on his third and final round of chemotherapy.
Doctors have recommended another drug, Avastin, which was previously available on the NHS in some parts of the country.
It can give patients extra months of normal life without their condition worsening.
However, the NHS has refused to pay for it.
But Reece, of Clayhill Road, Basildon, has condemned the NHS for paying for cosmetic surgery and gastric bands, when it won’t help to prolong his life.
He said: “I believe there shouldn’t be a price on a people’s health, especially when you spend the majority of your life looking after your body and health.
“Then you have other people making choices that should really deteriorate their health. It is one of the most frustrating things.
“This treatment is amazingly important.
“This drug has had pretty good results for a number of different people.
“When you are running out of options for different types of treatment, and there are drugs out there that have helped other people, I believe everyone should be able to choose for themselves whether they want to give it a try or not.”
The former Woodlands School pupil was fit and healthy until he had a bleed on the brain in May 2013, which was caused by a tangle of blood vessels called arteriovenous malformation.
After undergoing six weeks of daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy, his family thought he was on the mend.
However, on the day he was being discharged, they were given the devastating news that doctors had found two tumours.
Since then, the determined family have been focused on battling the diagnosis together.
Reece added: “There are split roads. You can either meet it head on and do as much as you can to fight against it, or end up falling into depression and pity yourself.
“I just think all the time I have got left is best spent trying to do as much as I can to enjoy life.”
! Evidence does not show Avastin helps patients fighting brain cancers, according to the NHS.
The drug is not licensed to be used by brain cancer sufferers and the NHS said it would not considered as treatment for patients with the condition until it was. A spokesman said he was unable to comment on Reece’s case specifically.
But he added: “Avastin is a drug licensed for the treatment of many types of cancer. It is available to patients who meet a set of criteria, which are there to ensure these specialised drugs are used in cases where theywill be most effective.
“Avastin is not licensed by the manufacturer for treatment