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Over £96,000 raised for Formby man by over 2,800 people but still only half way there

The wife of a dying Formby man is desperately appealing for help to raise over £200,000 for life-saving treatment.

Matt Henderson, 42, has been diagnosed with advanced Oesophageal cancer and told his only hope is to raise £200,000 for life-saving treatment in America.

The father-of-one, who grew up in Formby before moving to Liverpool, was diagnosed with the disease just a few months ago and he and his wife Jo were given the devastating news that it had spread to his lymph nodes and liver and that the NHS is only able to offer palliative care.

The couple have spoken to specialists and been told the only viable long term option is clinical trials in America, but this will have to be privately funded by the family at a cost of between £200,000 - £300,000.

The couple, who have one son Sebastian, 11, have set out on a massive fundraising mission to raise the money they need to send Matt to America.

Matt’s family and friends have launched a JustGiving page and are appealing for as many people as possible to support and donate to the cause. The page has raised more than £96,000 and has attracted over 2,800 supporters.

Karen Lounds is the justgiving page admin on behalf of Matt Henderson. Three days ago on 10th January, Karen said: "Matt has now been to Harley Street, and has an appointment next week at Christie's. We have been told that going privately in the UK does open doors for Matt. We have now accessed the funds so that Matt can have tests at Harley Street, and once he has been to Christie's we can evaluate next steps. We have also been told that MD Anderson in Texas, the Mayo Clinic in America and also Japan are probably the best options abroad. Thanks again to everyone for all their support, both financially and emotionally. It has made every difference x."

Formby gym held a 48-hour ‘spinathon’ session to help raise funds. Among the events set up to help Matt was a two-day spin event held at Formby Pool on December 18th - 20th. The spinathon saw participants take turns using a cycling machine to clock up dozens of miles each.

Finance don’t just stay in the office #help4matt

Not long to go now thanks for your continued support #help4matt

48 hour spin #help4matt night shift

Jonathan Cunningham, a former army major and owner of Storm Consulatancy in Southport, cycled more than 20 virtual miles his effort as he strived to help the ‘wonderful family’.

Speaking before the event, Matt, who is currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy and also taking 20 tablets a day said he just wants to get to America as soon as he can.

He said: “You don’t know how you are going to react until you are in that situation. To be told you have a terminal condition and then told there is nothing in this country that can be done. But there has to be a solution for everyone."

“I have been told to basically enjoy what time I have left. I am not willing to accept that. I am going to live on my terms, no-one elses."

“Anyone who is prepared to donate - just think of that being you or a loved one. If you had the chance to send that loved one away for treatment you would.”

He added: “It is so humbling to see complete strangers donating, you can’t imagine how that makes me feel. With a terminal condition - that’s not normally more than 12 months. I just want to get out there and for this to be done with. I am prepared to do anything, I just need the support of everyone to do it.”

Make Noise Choir were singing on Saturday 13th January in Tesco Formby. A spokesperson for Make Noise said: "We are very excited to be singing at Tesco's, Formby. Whilst we are there, we will be raising money for the fabulous Matt Henderson. He is the brother of Catherine (Make Noise's director) and son of Clare and Stuart who are Make Noise members."

Make Noise Choir in Tesco Formby #Help4Matt

After raising over £1,900, Make Noise said: "Wow!! Just wow!! Thanks to everyone who came to sing and to support us today. Such a fabulous day and what an amount! To those who donated - we are so grateful."

Matts mum, Clare Henderson said: "Thank you Tesco and those shopping there today who gave so generously to the funds for our son Matt. They raised £1977.36! special thanks to those collecting and to our wonderful Make Noise choir and Matts sister, Catherine."

The Just Giving page tells his story....

Matt Henderson with his son Sebastian

Thanks for taking the time to read this story. Matt is the loving husband to Jo and the most wonderful dad to Seb, who will be 11 on Christmas Day. Please look at these happy photos and read Matt's story. We are looking to raise funds to get Matt the best treatment, most likely in the USA. The NHS can offer no viable option for Matt. We are his family and friends and we are determined to get Matt what he deserves. He is the most wonderful husband, dad, son, brother, uncle and dear friend. Everyone who has met Matt, loves him, as you can see from many of the comments on here.

Matt is just 42. A year ago he was running marathons. This year he faces his greatest challenge. Matt has been diagnosed with advanced Oesophageal cancer. It has spread to his lymph nodes and liver. Matt’s only current viable long term option is treatment in America where he can access the latest clinical advances. We are evaluating his best option but we have been told that treatment will be in the region of £200,000 to £300,000.

We are desperate to give Matt an option and offer him a long term solution that is just not available to us in the UK.

All we are asking for is a chance, he wants to win this battle and we have to find a way to fund the treatment. Matt is so positively upbeat and determined to beat the odds, and as his family and friends, we are undertaking every possible option to fund his treatment. Ultimately we know we will need the kindness and generosity of strangers to help reach the target.

To all those who know or know of Matt, please can you find a way to help us.

Can you afford to spare £5 or £10? Would you consider donating to his fund instead of writing Christmas cards? To all our friends in the running community, would you run a race and fund raise for Matt. Could you organise a charity night and donate to Matt’s fund? We are looking at any way we can to raise money.

We would be delighted if you would get involved, and e mail us with your ideas.

We have set up this crowd funding page in order to raise as much as we can as quickly as we can. Please share this on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc and help us to get Matt the best treatment possible. We need people to read Matt’s story and help Matt in his battle. Millions of hands will make light work and give Matt the boost to carry on with his big life challenge.

All money raised is paid directly to Matt and Jo's fundraising account. Karen Lounds and Michelle Bebbington are supporting Matt and Jo to administer the scheme.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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