Wall needed to highlight kidney cancer

A FELIXSTOWE painter has put out a heartfelt plea to find a wall she can paint a huge children's mural on to raise £10,000 to highlight the cancer that killed her beloved father.

A FELIXSTOWE painter has put out a heartfelt plea to find a wall she can paint a huge children's mural on to raise £10,000 to highlight the cancer that killed her beloved father.

Pat Weber said her family was devastated when her father Tony was diagnosed as having kidney cancer.

He died last July aged just 57 from a cancer that before his diagnosis he was unaware even existed.

Despite it being one of the fastest growing cancers very few people are aware of it.


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It is now the tenth most common cancer in men and 15th in women yet even some healthcare professionals have limited knowledge and expertise of the cancer.

Now Miss Weber, of Rosemary Avenue, Felixstowe is using her talents to raise money and awareness.

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Although there has been an increase in cases kidney cancer receives a tiny fraction of the resources given to other types of cancer.

Next Monday she is due to paint a Winnie the Pooh design in the cot room at East Anglian Children's Hospice but only has room to do a poster size one.

Now she is appealing to other children's charities or even nursery schools in the county to come forward if they have a big wall they would want painted.

Miss Weber said: "It is more painful than I realised to go through this to raise the money.

"But I love seeing kids faces when they see a painting on the wall.

"I gave up a part time job so I could do this as it means that much to me.

"I wanted to raise money and awareness for Kidney Cancer UK – this will probably be the last thing I do for them so I want it to go with a bang."

Last year, Miss Weber and several colleagues and friends raised £7,000 for the charity by abseiling down the maternity block at Ipswich Hospital.

It was the most anyone had ever raised for the charity and her father died just a couple of weeks later.

She said: "The charity really helped my dad.

"Because it is so rare, he had no-one to talk to about it and was very lonely but Mike Renshaw, one of the founders of the charity really helped him and talked to him."

Despite several trips to different doctors, Miss Weber's father had had the cancer for five years before he was diagnosed.

When surgeons operated they found a tumour measuring nine centimetres on his kidney.

He had surgery to remove the kidney and had to take a cocktail of drugs everyday.

His wife Peggy nursed him at home through his illness up until he died.

Miss Weber said: "My dad was such an honourable guy and was a very strong man but he was so small by the time he died.

"He felt guilty through his illness and thought that he was letting his family down."

Her dad, who lived in Bedfordshire had had some symptoms during the five years before diagnosis but had always been treated for different things.

Miss Weber said: "He felt extreme tiredness as part of it and he was never like that.

"He retired early at 54 but he only had three years. He just wanted to play golf and could not understand why he did not have the energy."

n. If you can help Pat Weber out by giving her a wall to paint on or want to sponsor her to help her raise the £10,000 she can be contacted on 01394 670393.

FACTFILE:

The cancer originates in the kidney and can then spread through the lymphatic system or blood to other tissues and organs.

There are several types of kidney cancer – the most common is renal cell carcinoma which accounts for about 85 per cent of all kidney cancers.

Many people with kidney cancer do not have obvious symptoms – some people have very general symptoms such as tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss or persistent fever often expressed in night sweats, but these symptoms can be caused by many other kidney conditions apart from kidney cancer.

A more specific symptom is blood in the urine but there can also be other reasons for this such as infections, kidney stones, or prostate problems.

Any pain in the lower back or lump or swelling in the area of the kidneys should be taken seriously.

If a kidney tumour is large it can sometimes be felt by hand but usually tumours are too small to be detected this way.

Kidney cancer does not respond particularly well to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Nicholas Owen, ITV news presenter was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2002 and has since made a full recovery.

WEBLINK: www.kcuk.org

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