'I just want to see son's first Christmas'

November 02 2016

NEIGHBOURS have rallied round to support a Fishponds father-of-two who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

TEAM MOORE

NEIGHBOURS have rallied round to support a Fishponds father-of-two who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

James Moore has been told by doctors there is nothing they can do to save him and have given him just months to live.

As his wife Zed and their two children, Pipin, six, and six-month-old Elfric, adjust to facing a future without James, neighbours and friends have started fundraising to support the family.

In less than one month, a JustGiving page started by neighbour Jodie Hedges has reached more than £3,300 which will help towards funeral costs as well as enabling the family to spend some days out together.

James, 52, had initially been given the all-clear after enduring radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat throat cancer.

But in September, just 10 weeks after the all-clear, the cancer returned. This time the tumour was aggressive and doctors have not been able to give James the reassurance that he will live to see Elfric celebrate his first birthday.

The family moved from Easton to Fishponds last summer after purchasing a house which needed total modernisation. As James worked as a carpenter, the plan was that he would do as much of the required renovations as possible to keep costs down.

Three-weeks after getting their keys, the couple, to their joy, discovered Zed was pregnant with their much-longed for second child.

At the start of Zed's second trimester, James developed a painful lump in his throat. 

Zed, 42, said: "We first thought it was nothing so waited a while for it to go. James then went to the GP and was given various diagnostic tests. 

"When I was 26-weeks pregnant, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. They said 'It's fine, we've got this. The treatment is awful but it's going to be ok'."

During the course of his radiotherapy and chemotherapy, James became unable to speak or eat and had a tube fitted through his stomach to enable him to take food.

An MRI scan and ultrasound investigation revealed the cancer had gone, however James was still sick from ensuing heart problems and infections, which left his immune system vulnerable.

Then, just 10 weeks after getting the all-clear, James started coughing up blood - he was then told he had a 4cm tumour in his throat which was aggressive. Zed, who uses a wheelchair due to a right lower leg amputation when she was five and a spine disease, said: "At that point we were told it was terminal and there was nothing they could do. They said he wasn't even well enough to have palliative chemotherapy. I had Elfric on my lap, who had just turned five-months, and I asked them if James would see our son's first birthday. They said 'Let's aim for Christmas'."

Zed, who is on maternity leave from her job in the NHS, said the family has been overwhelmed by the kindness of others who want to raise money so they can continue to renovate the house, take days out together and pay for James's funeral.

"I have James terminally ill in bed 22 hours a day, a six-year-old, a baby and a house with plaster everywhere and a kitchen half done. We used all our savings to buy the house and don't even have the money for a funeral.

"We have been honest with Pipin and he is very sad that his daddy is going to die. He goes to Glenfrome Primary School and they have been outstanding. The love, care, support and attention that they are giving to Pip is amazing.

"There is a lot of love in our house and a desire to enjoy what we can. There's lots of hugs and we tell each other never to forget how much they are loved. We're just helping each other to get through it.

"It's limited what James can do so it's difficult to plan things. We can't go out of the country for a holiday because insurance would be prohibitive but we'd like to do some nice train trips and see some of the countryside."

Zed said the family has been moved by the kindness of others.

"Jodie is the kindest, most caring person you could wish to meet. She has time for everybody and is an amazing friend. 

"In the most challenging of times, the love and kindness which has been showered upon my family has been really life-affirming. The few people in the world who aren't very nice loom so large that it's really easy to forget that most people have a good heart. People have been amazing and their kindness will never be forgotten."

Jodie said: "I just like to treat people how I'd like to be treated and if I see someone needs help then I try to help as much as I can. Zed is amazing in every way. Given that she has her own health struggles, she just keeps going and going. Although the family has had such devastating news, Zed is still trying to do as much as she can so it doesn't affect their boys as much. She's an inspiration."

You can make a donation to the Moore family via Jodie's JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jodie-hedges