A man who had ‘difficulty swallowing’ was devastated to discover he had Stage 4 cancer.
Callum Powell began having difficulty swallowing in March this year, CheshireLive reports.
He took several trips to the doctors to try to find out what the issue was, with doctors initially thinking he might have glandular fever or a stomach ulcer.
But after an endoscopy in May, the 27-year-old from Ellsemere Port, Cheshire, was given the devastating news that he had gastro-oesophageal cancer.
He was also told a tumour had formed between the junction of his oesophagus and his stomach.
Further scans revealed that the cancer had spread and he was told his oesophagus cancer was now incurable and inoperable.
Now, Callum’s sister, Chloe Powell, has set up a Crowdfunding page to raise money for potential treatments for her brother.
The 25-year-old said: “Callum was previously a fit and healthy lad, you know never really been to the doctors and never really had a problem before.
“He had coronavirus in January, but he recovered straight away and then went back to work. He was working away for a few weeks and he first started noticing that he was struggling to swallow in March.
“He went back and forward to the doctors having routine blood tests and they thought at first it was glandular fever. It then went from glandular fever to them thinking he had a stomach ulcer.
“Then on May 18, he had an endoscopy which had revealed that he had a tumour between the bottom of his oesophagus and his stomach.”
After a CT scan and a PET scan, Callum, a former utilities manager, was given the tragic news that the tumour had spread.
Chloe said: “We were all massively shocked by what had happened. Cal’s obviously a very fit and healthy young lad.
“I’d done a lot of research on this cancer around the time because Cal was obviously floored by the diagnosis and I found that when you get symptoms, the cancer is advanced.
“It’s just a really horrendous cancer to have. I never even knew you could get this type of cancer.
“It’s been a really shocking, crazy few weeks. We’ve been floored by it all really.”
After the diagnosis, Callum spent two weeks in Chester Hospital where he was being tube fed because of his weight loss.
Chloe remembers one of the first calls with the oncologist, who told the family that with treatment, Callum would have three to five years to live.
Since returning home, however, Callum’s condition has improved and doctors are now giving him a higher dose of chemotherapy.
Chloe said: “Cal’s come out of hospital and we’ve all rallied together to pull him through.
“The last few weeks he’s gone from having a tube to feed him to eating by himself, he’s having a lot more calories, he’s feeling a lot less sick and the symptoms have subsided, so because of that he’s been offered a higher dose of chemo.
“We found out his cancer is HER2 positive, so the NHS have been able to give us this targeted drug therapy to assist with Cal’s chemo.
“So obviously from myself and my family, we’ve got so much hope that with how Cal is performing and behaving, more treatment options will be opened up to us in the future.”
Callum has now started his chemotherapy treatment, receiving his first round this week, which was a full dose.
“Obviously we’re just at the starting point,” Chloe said.
“He’s feeling really fit and well, so we just hope obviously that he’ll continue on this road.”
The family have spent £2,500 towards having the tumour biopsy sent to Belgium for genetic testing, along with private consultations and private oncology meetings.
They have explored alternative treatments and medicines, nutritional therapists, functional medicine practitioners and counselling.
And have now set up a Crowdfunding page to ensure Callum has funding for any future treatment.
She said: “We’ve never asked anyone for money, and we’re not asking people for money, it’s just that friends and family are saying to us, you know, ‘what can we do to help?’
“We’ve spoken to a few specialists who have said there may be potential that Callum could attend an alternative cancer clinic in Germany, and at that point, you’d need to be ready to go and have the money ready.”
The justgiving site crowdfunder has already raised over £16,000 with Chloe adding that donations ‘mean the world’ to Callum and the family.