A man campaigning to make a life-saving drug available on the NHS is taking part in a charity cycle ride this weekend to raise awareness.
Richard Bassett, 28, from Northampton, suffers from a rare type of stomach cancer called Wildtype GIST (Gastronintestinal Stromal Tumour). There are three types of medicine that can treat it, including regorafenib, which last year cut from the latest Cancer Drugs Funding (CDF) list.
Mr Bassett collected more than 103,000-signature petition calling for it to remain available. The petition was presented to Downing Street and NHS England has reinstated the drug. However, campaigners say that changes to the standard operating procedure mean the future availability of the drug is uncertain. Regorafenib is available from the NHS in Scotland and Wales for GIST patients.
This Sunday Mr Bassett, his partner Victoria and friend Matt are taking part in the Prudential RideLondon; a 100 mile cycle event starting in the Olympic Park, crossing through the hills of Surrey and finishing on the Mall.
‘Team Allsorts’ are riding to raise awareness of GIST cancer, and to raise funds for the PAWS-GIST clinic.
PAWS-GIST (Paediatric Adolescent Wild-type and Syndromic) GIST commonly effects children and young adults and is a rarer sub-set of GIST cancer.
The charity has recently established a clinic at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge and enables PAWS-GIST patients to meet with top UK GIST specialists to discuss treatment plans. The clinic is the first of its kind outside the USA and aims to form a focus group for GIST cancer research. The clinic is 100% funded by the charity, receiving no NHS or government funding and therefore relies solely on donations.
To donate to the team’s fundraising, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/BassettsAllsorts
For further information on the PAWS-GIST clinic please visit https://www.pawsgistclinic.org.uk/index.html