Craig Shore, a Glossop resident, has for the last few years been fighting a rare form of cancer. After getting the all clear in July, he thought the ordeal was over. But last month, some bad news brought back the fight.
Craig Shore is a family man hailing from Glossop, who is currently raising money for the expensive treatment to beat his rare form of cancer. Unfortunately for Craig, this development is nothing new, as this all started back in 2020 when Craig realized something was wrong with his vision at work.
“I got some safety spectacles through work with a different type of lense,” Craig explained, “and I noticed when I was going downstairs that they were moving and floating.”
This initial realization that something was wrong happened to Craig in December of 2020, and this began a long road of referrals and tests for Craig, to determine what was causing the problem. “I went to Specsavers over Christmas and had an eye test, paying for an OCT scan as well. I was told there that I might have central serus retinopathy and was referred to Tameside for various tests.”
Central Serus Retinopathy is the medical term for a buildup of fluid under the retina, which can get better on its own and does not effect vision long term. But it was after more tests and referrals, first to Rochdale and then onto Oldham, that something more serious seemed to be happening.
“At Oldham they referred me to a specialist eye hospital, St Johns in Liverpool.” From Craig making the initial appointment at Specsavers up until getting referred to St Johns, it had taken Craig 8 months to get a firm diagnosis for his eye problems.
It was at St. Johns’ eye hospital that Craig was given the bad news – he had been diagnosed with Uveal Melanoma. This is a rare cancer that forms in the uvea of the eye, which is the structural part that lies beneath the white of the eye.
The diagnosis had taken so long for Craig because the cancer is one that is hard to detect – as Craig said, “because it is so rare it can live dormant in your eye and have no effect on your eyesight whatsoever.” But once it was found, action was taken by St Johns’.
It was the end of September when I was taken into St Johns, and they performed surgery where they remove the eye and put four little markers on it to highlight where the cancer is. Then I was sent to Clatterbridge on the Wirral. They did proton beam therapy on me and I went back for check-ups for the next 6 months at St Pauls, I was having 6 monthly MRIs as well.”
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses a beam of high energy proton, instead of using x-rays. Proton beam therapy enables a dose of high energy protons to be precisely targeted at a tumour, reducing the damage to surrounding healthy tissues and vital organs.
The last MRI Craig had was this June, and by July Craig had finally got the all clear from the cancer. “I was so relieved at the news, and a week later I got a call from Liverpool saying as the condition is so rare would I go on a research trial to help them find out more about it.”
Unfortunately, it was during this time that the doctors realized all was not well.
“I went to have blood tests, and I had a CT scan in October the 12th, and an MRI on the 13th where they injected me with something whilst I was in the MRI scanner. It was either the 19th or 20th that my consultant rang me telling me something untoward had been seen on my scans and made me an appointment.”
What Craig was then told was hard news for him to hear, as he was told he would have to wait for the tumour to grow so that it could be dealt with easier. “I was told because the largest tumour is classed as small, I have to go away and wait for the tumour to grow,” Craig said, “then potentially I will have a biopsy to see what the treatment routes are. I have an appointment with my consultant in Liverpool on 18th December, but I have found treatment options available in Manchester with the Christie.”
Craigs' family have been supportive of him throughout his ordeal with the rare cancer. Craig has just become a grandfather this February, and has been supported by his girlfriend, and children Ashley and Holly, through the tough times. His girlfriend has set up a GoFundMe to try to help with funding the treatment for the cancer. The treatment Craig needs to sort out the cancer does not come cheap due to being so specialized, and the 2/3 courses of treatment cost a whopping £40,000 each. Even one course of the treatment is a huge financial burden for somebody to endure, so Craig and the rest of the family are hoping people will be able to give what they can to help out.
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