Bristol Man Battles Incurable Brain Tumour, Seeks Experimental Treatment Abroad

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Richard Orna, a 38-year-old from Bristol, boldly confronts an aggressive bout with an incurable brain tumour, known as glioblastoma. Diagnosed last year, Orna was given a heart-wrenching prognosis of a mere 12 to 18 months. Having exhausted all options available through the National Health Service, he now seeks help through alternative medical ventures abroad.

In a determined race to raise £250,000, Orna seeks immunotherapy in Germany, an experimentally classed treatment unavailable to him through regular medical channels and thereby not covered by insurer commitments.

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“I’d do anything to have five more minutes with my wife, Maja. I’d try any possible treatment,” he admitted, reflecting the stark reality of his situation.

Drawing strength in unity, Orna’s sister Sal initiated a crowdfunded campaign to support his significant treatment costs. The bond has evidently resonated with many as the fund has already amassed over £28,000 in donations.

A tiresome routine of three-monthly scans tracks Orna’s condition, while he sets his eyes on procuring the dendritic cell vaccine. Trips to Cologne, Germany, and numerous medical evaluations later, Orna has confirmed his eligibility for the expensive treatment. “Preparations are underway,” he reassures, projecting optimism towards embarking on the treatment by year end.

In addition to such endeavours, Orna has been granted access to a Tumour Treating Fields device courtesy of his workplace health insurance. This peculiar headwear deploys electric fields to destabilise cell division in cancerous cells, often resulting in cell death. When used in conjunction, these devices could potentially extend life expectancy by several months.

Deeply moved by the personal struggle, Orna, along with his wife Maja, have initiated a petition calling for increased funding in brain tumour research. “I’m shocked and disappointed with how little investment there is”, he voices, echoing the sentiments of the 48,000 signatories to their petition.

Brain Tumour Research, a leading charity, reinforces this reality, pointing out that despite brain tumours causing more deaths in children and adults under 40 than any other cancer, they have received insufficient funding. A mere 1% of expenditure on national cancer research has been directed towards this devastating disease over the last two decades.