A family whose ‘lives and hearts have been shattered’ after a father was diagnosed with an incurable and extremely rare cancer have set up a fundraising campaign.

Matthew Webb, 28, was devastated when he was told that he had incurable stage four cancer in August this year.

Sarah Webb, Matthew’s mum, said: “A month ago our lives and hearts were shattered when, due to having a routine x-ray for a chest infection and subsequent other tests, it was discovered that my wonderful son has a rare, incurable stage 4b metastatic adenocarcinoma cancer suspected of the thymus. Not only it is rare but in someone of his age almost unheard of.

“We are asking for help as the NHS can and will only provide some of the much-needed treatments and tests available to keep our son with us as long and as comfortably as possible. A lot of the additional add on treatments come at a huge cost which as a family we are unable to cover.

“Please help us to keep Matthew here with us for as long as we can.”

Matthew, who has worked at Boots and Quality Corner in Lyme Regis and lives in Axminster with his fiancée Kerstin and two-and-a-half-year-old son Jesse, has been told the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes.

Matthew said: “That was hard news. We asked the doctor and although he couldn’t say how long I would live, he did say it could be anywhere from two months. The doctor also said that because the cancer has spread to where it has, it’s not going to be curable, he said that because it has spread so far, treatment will more than likely only slow it down. The words he used were ‘keep you alive for as long as possible’.”

After a series of appointments and test, Matthew was told that he had been selected for a new private test by Roche Pharmaceuticals to help find the source after Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital was allocated 30 slots.

Matthew will be the first patient for Exeter to have it done.

Matthew added: “The test looks at the genes in your body and tests the genes for mutations - cancer growing is a mutation of a cell - and looks at that mutation and matches you up with a drug to kill it. We’re hoping that it finds the mutation, which has a 90 per cent chance, and then we’re hoping there’s a drug available, accessible and funded. The doctor swayed on the side that they don’t think it will be funded.”

Matthew is set to get the results of the test next week and hopefully start chemotherapy a week later. Despite all of this, he continues to work at Boots in Honiton.

He added: “Having got told about how long I could live for, how little it could be, and the chemo for the rest of my life, it hit me a little bit hard after each appointment. I do think I’m quite strong mentally and I carried on working, I had my appointments around work and even though I got told I had cancer, I went back to work the same day because I almost wanted to stay busy as well.

“It was also that thing of money, I still have a family and I still have bills. We’ve brought down all our bills now, got rid of luxuries and brought our mortgage down to the minimum payment and we’re putting money to one side and being very careful now because I’m going to lose money through work as having time off is inevitable.”

A fundraiser has been set up to help Matthew and his family. Donations can be left at Boots stores in Bridport and Lyme Regis or by visiting http://bit.ly/2m0j5qn

  • A fundriaser for Matthew is being held at Tick Tocks Day Nursery, Millway Rise Industrial Estate, Axminster, on Saturday, September 28 from 10am to 2pm. There will be tea, coffee and cake, as well as a tombola, raffle and face painting. If anyone would like to make a donation, give prizes or help in any way, call Sarah on 01297 631972.