A KARATE expert battling terminal cancer needs to raise £60,000 for treatment that could help him live to see his toddler son grow up.
Father-of-two Paul Coleman, 57, from Headington, Oxford, said he had been denied treatment on the NHS.
He set up Oxford Karate Academy 39 years ago and, as well as producing 92 black belts, has travelled the world competing and instructing in the sport.
In July, however, he received the news that he has prostate cancer which had spread to his bones.
Now he needs to raise money in order to have experimental treatment in America with radium 223 that could prolong his life.
That could give him extra time with his family – in particular two-year-old son Blade.
Mr Coleman said: “A couple of years ago I went to my GP and asked for a test because I had concerns about my prostate, but the GP advised me against it.
“This summer, I changed GP, and had a test, which showed my readings were through the roof.
“A biopsy then revealed I had cancer and I probably now have between just three and six years to live.”
The bad news has not stopped there, as he said he was denied treatment that could potentially help him live longer.
“Last week I learned I had been refused a place on a UK drug trial because I missed a hospital appointment, due to a clash with another hospital appointment,” he said.
“On top of that, cancer treatment in the UK [both with enzalutamide and radium 223] have both been denied me, because even though my cancer is terminal, it is apparently not advanced enough. It is a complete shambles.”
Enzalutamide is a new type of hormone therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer which no longer responds to hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
Despite being licensed for use in the UK, it is only available in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund, which is money provided by the Government to pay for treatments not yet approved by NICE, the body which approves drugs for use on the NHS.
Radium 223 is also not available as a standard treatment in the UK at the moment, but can be had as part of a clinical trial.
NHS England (Thames Valley), the body responsible for funding these cancer treatments, refused to comment on Mr Coleman’s case, but spokesman Tim Carter said: “NHS England (Thames Valley) regrets the distress that this patient is experiencing.
“We are unable to discuss the individual circumstances of this particular case due to patient confidentiality, but can advise that clinicians very carefully consider each treatment and make a judgement based on the clinical effectiveness of each potential treatment for their patient.”
Mr Coleman is now pinning his hopes on a radical form of cancer treatment in America.
He said: “I am hoping to go to the US on my 58th birthday – January 6 – to a health clinic.
“Not for the actual cancer treatment, but for a preparatory period of four weeks in which they will seek to do treatment on my body. This has apparently had some success in stopping the spread of cancer.
“But it is only a temporary measure and I am hoping to raise the £60,000 I need to go back and receive radium 223.”
He added: “Being told you might not see your two-year-old son’s fifth birthday is pretty wrenching, but I want to do all I can to fight the cancer, and the response from everyone wanting to help has been overwhelming.”
People are holding fundraising events here in Oxfordshire and up and down the country, from sponsored walks to spinning.
“One guy I have never even met has set up a fund in my name and £15,500 has already been raised in total since the end of the summer,” he said.
The Coleman family, Natasha, Blade, Paul and Aaron
Mr Coleman has two sons, Blade, two, with his second wife Natasha, 32, and Aaron, 20, from a previous relationship.
RADIUM 223 is a new type of internal radiotherapy treatment which can be used to treat cancers that have spread to the bone.
- Still being tested in the UK, the treatment uses radiation called alpha particles to kill cancer cells.
- A doctor injects the radium 223 into a patient’s blood and it circulates to their bones.
- The cancer cells in the bone then take it up and early trials show a slight increase in the level of life expectancy.
Donations to the Paul Coleman Health Fund can be made via bank sort code: 77-23-13 and account number: 85618660