Treatment buys dad more time
The Franklin community rallied behind ill Pukekohe dad Kent Allan earlier this year, which meant he was able to travel overseas for treatment to extend his life.
In 2002 he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder known as Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome, a hereditary condition where tumours grow in multiple organs.
In 2015, Kent was told a tumour had grown and metastasized to the liver and was inoperable.
He had a year to live and the best chance he had to shrink the tumour was to travel to Melbourne to have Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT), a form of molecular targeted therapy.
This treatment is not available in New Zealand, and the cost of the six-week course is around $50,000.
After the community’s support through fundraising, he was able to begin his treatment.
Since his first course, he said he was feeling fantastic.
He will head back to Melbourne this week for the second course. The treatment is thought to be able to extend his life by three to five years, and he can possibly have the treatment again at a later date.
‘‘I had a massive pain on my sides before I left, it was really getting me down. Now, most of that pain has subsided.
‘‘A tremendous amount of pain has gone from my flanks.
‘‘I sat in a chair and got infused with amino acid that protects the kidneys, because it (the treatment) is like sunburn on the inside.
‘‘Then I got injected for about half an hour with the nuclear stuff. Then I sat there for another four hours and they gave me steroids to protect my insides.
‘‘I’m quite wrapt after my first lot of treatment...It’s definitely given me more hope. I’m wondering if I need to go back so soon, because I feel so good.’’
Kent raised more than the $50,000 required, and planned on taking his two teenagers for a holiday with the excess raised.
He said he was extremely thankful to the community for chipping in to help extend his life.
‘‘From the kids and I, we’d like to thank everybody for their overwhelming support to buy me some years with my lovely kids and it’s been overwhelming, and I appreciate your generosity.’’
Kent Allan will head to Melbourne this week for another round of treatment.