A family is appealing for help in raising money to save the life of their husband and father after he was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer.
Karl Bullimore, of Grantham, was diagnosed with stage four advanced bladder cancer in October last year. It is an aggressive and extremely rare form of the disease. Fewer than one per cent of all bladder cancers are of this type.
Karl, who is 63, is well known in the town, especially in sporting circles, being a member of Grantham Swimming Club and having played for Harrowby United.
Karl, who is married to Ret with two daughters, Karla and Kelly, has been told there is only a slim chance of his cancer being treated with drugs available on the NHS. So far, he has undergone six cycles of chemotherapy.
In a bid to save his life, his family have found a specialist oncologist in London. A biopsy of Karl’s tumour has been sent to the United States with the aim of finding a drug which can work against the cancer.
The family says there are drugs available privately which are more effective than those on the NHS and can be combined with those Karl is taking to fight the cancer.
The family is desperate to raise as much money as possible to pay for specialised chemotherapy drugs. But these cost about £5,000 for each chemotherapy session and they would be used until a target drug can be found.
The family has so far raised £6,300 from family and friends and with an online plea.
But because Karl’s illness is so rare they have to fund the research themselves at a cost of at least £50,000. But the family says the research will help others around the world because there is no direct treatment yet for this kind of cancer.
Any funds raised will help pay for specialist’s fees, CT scans, train fares, drugs and injections, and research.
Karla said: “Our dad is so kind and so generous and nothing is too much trouble for him. He puts everyone else before himself and he’s finding it difficult now being the one who’s in the spotlight. We plan on holding fund-raising events.
“Dad is only 63, employed as a BT engineer for 44 years. Prior to diagnosis he was fit and active. He is well known around Grantham due to his sporty background.
“As well as football, he was a premier league player in table tennis and has been heavily involved in Grantham Swimming Club, where he coached, officiated at galas and set up the Masters Team that has been growing for a number of years.
“Due to his commitment to the swimming club he was made a life member. Dad swam himself and recently gained swimming records in his age group in the Lincolnshire Championships.
“Dad is finding it so difficult at the moment trying to rest. He is normally hiking, doing some fell running with his daughter and swimming. Please help save our dad so he can do these things again with us.
“He is such a kind and generous person always helping and inspiring others. Dad is a massive animal lover and has always donated to animal charities. We would like to return all the kindness and love he has given to us all our lives. We do not want to lose our dad and know this can be treated.
“We are an extremely close family and ask from the bottom of our hearts for people out there to help us.
“We will keep all supporters updated on treatment and with how things are going.”
The family says any extra money raised will go towards helping others in a similar position to Karl.
His wife, Ret, said: “My husband means so much to our family and we all love him so much. We cannot do this on our own.”
To make a donation go to gogetfunding.com/fix-our-father
The family is also asking people to organise fund-raising events such as coffee mornings, a collection or a sporting event, or donate items for a raffle. If you would like to help, call Karla on 07419 139904 or email karla.bullimore@ hotmail.co.uk