A YOUNG man battling two brain tumours is set to start po t e n t i a l ly life-saving treatment after dedicated fundraisers donated £60,000.
Reece Hawley, 21, of Clay Hill Road, Basildon, will meet with consultants this week and ask to begin taking cancer drug Avastin – which the NHS no longer funds.
He has just finished his third and final unsuccessful round of chemotherapy.
His fight for survival has touched the hearts of people around the world, with fundraising events taking place as far away as Ibiza.
A course of Avastin costs £2,000 a week and friends, family and strangers alike have already raised enough cash for seven months worth of treatment – with more money set to roll in.
Mum Karen Hawley, 50, said the family has been overwhelmed with the public response.
She added: “I would never forgive myself if something happened to Reece knowing we were sat on this money, but hadn’t pushed for treatment to start.
“We’re realistic Avastin isn’t a miracle drug and it might not work, but it’s certainly worth a go. I know Reece is my son, but he really is a very humble person.
He can’t believe what all these people are doing for him. Hopefully he will recover and will be able to give something back and help others himself in the future.”
NHS bosses claim that while Avastin is licensed to treat many types of cancer, there is no evidence to show it can help patients fighting brain tumours.
Reece, a 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, but doctors went on to find two new brain tumours.