Kent battling for his children
After losing the end of his finger in a motorbike accident, Kent Allan still felt he needed further medical attention.
For almost a year prior to the accident, Kent had been suffering from headaches, so his doctors ordered a scan.
Kent found he had a 6.5cm tumour in the back of his head and after brain surgery he spent 10 weeks in hospital and developed meningitis. ’’Apparently I almost died on the operating table twice,’’ he said.
After his surgery he was then diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder known as Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome.
VHL is a hereditary condition where tumours grow in multiple organs, and normally onsets from a person’s late 20s and early 30s, Kent said.
In 2015, Kent was told a tumour first found in 2002 had grown and metastasized to the liver and was now inoperable.
In the space of six months there had only been 1mm growth, but in the past year the tumour has grown three to four times in size.
Kent was told he had just a year to live and the best chance he had to try and shrink the tumour was to travel to Melbourne to have Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT), a form of molecular targeted therapy.
This form of treatment is not available in New Zealand, and the cost of the six-week treatment is around $50,000.
‘‘It will shrink things - it will give me time pretty much,’’ Kent said. ’’If it shrinks things enough they might be able to operate.’’
His two children, Shawna, 16, and Seth, 14, were the two reasons Kent said he was fundraising to receive treatment in Melbourne.
‘‘I get so many compliments from people about how nice my kids are, and I’m proud of that.’’
Seth was diagnosed as a baby with the same genetic condition as his dad. Kent said he feared for his son’s future when it came to the current practices around VHL treatment in New Zealand.
‘‘I’m not seeing any advances coming out to the public to help this.’’
Kent said since been given around a year to live, he’s trying everything to extend his time with his children.
‘‘I’m not finished with them, I wanna see them walking down the aisle, I’d love to see their grandchildren.
‘‘That’s what’s created the urgency for me to create a givealittle page.’’
On Monday from 5.30pm, Town Mouse Pukekohe will hold a fundraising event for Kent and there will be a mini auction and food and drinks available to buy. For more information on the event contact Sonia on 027 308 6360.
Seth, left, Kent and Shawna Allen at their Pukekohe home. Kent wants to raise $50,000 for treatment in Melbourne.