COST OF LIVING CRISIS: WHEN WILL THE TORIES STEP IN?
Tumour lad’s heat or eat dilemma
THE family of a boy of 15 with a lifethreatening brain tumour say they can barely afford to eat and heat their home while caring for him during the cost of living crisis.
Noah Herniman’s annual MRI scan was cancelled last year due to pressures from the pandemic.
Months later he was diagnosed with an inoperable benign tumour at the core of his brain.
Noah’s mother Shelley and his father Nigel work but Shelley is supporting Noah from their home.
The teenager suffers from neurofibromatosis, leading to tumours on nerve tissues.
Even though he is often cold due to his chemotherapy, Shelley says the family have to turn off the heating except for a few hours in the morning and evening.
Noah also requires 2,900 calories a day, meaning their food bill is “through the roof”, and they receive very little financial support.
Shelley, from Chepstow, SouthEast Wales, said: “Because of the changing tariffs I had a bill for seven weeks which was £165 and instead was £376 for electricity.
“It’s not just that. Noah has to go through litres of milk because he has to have a high-fat diet. But costs are going up all the time.
“It’s shameful we’re in a country where we consider ourselves a firstworld country and some are living like third-world citizens.”
The family are not alone in their struggles. Macmillan’s research for 2021 found 87% of people with cancer in Wales suffered a financial impact from their diagnosis – an average increase of £734 a month on top of their usual expenditure.
Consumer prices stand at more than 5% higher than 12 months ago, while gas bills have leapt 28% and electricity prices are up by 9%.
Gem Walker works at Feed Newport CIC and says the food bank is serving new families hit by sudden and severe illnesses.
Richard Pugh, head of partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, added: “Across the board in Wales and the wider UK we see a growing cost of living crisis.
“Even in normal times the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis can be devastating.”
Noah has to go through litres of milk but costs are going up all the time
SHELLEY HERNIMAN ON HER FAMILY’S RISING BILLS