I’m ready to fight this again

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Ben But­ler

A FATHER-OF-FIVE bat­tling can­cer has suf­fered a dev­as­tat­ing set­back.

Cam­paigner Irfon Wil­liams shared the heart­break­ing news on his Face­book page that three tu­mours have re­turned to his liver and some have spread to his lungs.

The re­tired se­nior nurse from Ban­gor, who an­nounced in De­cem­ber he was in re­mis­sion from the dis­ease, said: “Un­for­tu­nately, fol­low­ing a scan about a month ago, I had the news that three tu­mours have re­turned to the liver and some have spread to the lungs.

“To­day I met a doc­tor at the Royal Liver­pool Hospi­tal and he was very pos­i­tive.

“I’ll be re­ceiv­ing treat­ment to burn the liver tu­mours soon. There’s no need to worry too much about the lungs at this stage, but I will need treat­ment to tar­get them in the near fu­ture. I feel well and ready for it once again.”

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, his post at­tracted hun­dreds of sup­port­ive com­ments from well­wish­ers.

He was first di­ag­nosed with can­cer in 2014 and later be­came the face of the fight against the dis­ease in North Wales, launch­ing the #TeamIr­fon cam­paign to sup­port pa­tients on Ys­byty Gwynedd, Ban­gor’s Alaw Unit. Orig­i­nally aim­ing to raise £20,000, the cam­paign has now raised more than £100,000.

Irfon, 46, crit­i­cised the Welsh Govern- ment when his bid to get the NHS in Wales to pay for a po­ten­tially life-pro­long­ing drug was turned down, leav­ing him no op­tion but to cross the border into Eng­land for treat­ment.

After months of cam­paign­ing by #hawli­fyw, set up by Irfon, the Gov­ern­ment bowed to pres­sure in De­cem­ber, con­firm­ing Ce­tux­imab and cys­tic fi­bro­sis drug Iva­caftor are to be made rou­tinely avail­able to pa­tients in Wales.

In May, Irfon wel­comed a com­mit­ment by First Min­is­ter Car­wyn Jones to end the “post­code lot­tery” for drugs in Wales be­fore the end of Au­gust. He also set up a men­tal health train­ing com­pany, Han­ner Llawn.

Four months ago Irfon an­nounced the dis­ease had re­turned to his liver. He had a ma­jor oper­a­tion in Liver­pool to re­move the tu­mours, but they have re­turned.

Irfon Wil­liams re­cov­er­ing at the Alaw Unit at Ys­byty Gwynedd, Ban­gor

Irfon with wife Re­becca

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