More than £42,000 raised to support Northampton school teacher and young family after cancer diagnosis

'We're looking with no stone unturned to make sure we do everything we can to try and fight this awful disease'

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 7:30 am

A Northampton school teacher has been left overwhelmed as more than £42,000 has been donated online after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Chris Bailey's family set up a JustGiving page after the Northampton High School junior school headteacher was told he had pancreatic cancer, which had spread to his liver.

They had an initial goal of £25,000 but that was passed within three days to help the 40-year-old father from Towcester, his eight-month-pregnant wife, Jen, and their one-year-old daughter, Ivy.

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In a video thanking the donors, he said: "We had no idea this was the amount of money that would be coming to us but already the travel costs have been significant just travelling back and forwards to Northampton for appointments.

"But we've also had trips to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where we've been looking at some complementary approaches.

"I've already had a couple of sessions of acupuncture, chiropractic work and we're looking with no stone unturned in terms of diet etc to make sure we do everything we can to try and fight this awful disease."

Surgeons were unable to surgically remove Chris' tumour due to the difficult location and the spread so he will likely undergo aggressive chemotherapy in the hopes of shrinking the tumour and extending his life.

Chris, Jen and Ivy Bailey

Despite the initial shock, particularly as Chris is an exceptionally healthy and fit individual, he and his wife remain positive and are exploring a number of treatment options.

Chris said in the video: "We remain resolute that we want to be determined to be upbeat and positive, stoic and solution-focused and not kind of mulling over being victims or any of that stuff.

"That's how we're going to cope with this and get through this, with positivity and upbeat-ness and we are going to find solutions and get through it"

Jen's brother, Andrew Madge, set up the JustGiving page as a response to a huge number of requests from people who want to rally around and help in their time of need.

Chris Bailey was a keen runner, having competed in numerous marathons for charity

Quickly donations were made in their hundreds with so many kind messages from people all over the globe who had met the pair during their work in schools internationally.

As well as the main donation page, Chris' family has organised a '24 challenge', called #ForMrBailey, to boost funds by asking people to run or walk for 24 minutes, 2.4km or 24km on Saturday, November 21.

November is also Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, with World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 19, so lots of fundraising has been arranged for then too.

Jen, whose baby is due on November 30, said in the video: "All the positive thoughts and love [you are sending us], we can feel it all and it really makes a difference.

Chris, Jen and Ivy Bailey

"People really want to help and there's not so much to be able to help with really.

"But this fundraising has been an incredible help for us as it's alleviated an awful lot of stress we didn't need so we really appreciate it.

"It's nice to have messages from people we haven't seen for years and just really positive stuff so thank you so much."