Grateful family pledge to give others a lifeline

KEEN TO HELP ... Glen Cunningham with partner Yasmin Malik and their baby, Glen Jnr
KEEN TO HELP ... Glen Cunningham with partner Yasmin Malik and their baby, Glen Jnr

THE family of a terminally-ill South Tyneside man handed a £33,500 cash lifeline by a stranger now plan to help out others.

Cancer sufferer Glen Cunningham and his family were stunned when kind-hearted Kenny Vickers donated the cash to buy him the life-prolonging drug Avastin.

The 29-year-old, who has 10 brain tumours, was told by health bosses at South Tyneside Primary Care Trust, that they wouldn’t provide funding as they weren’t convinced the drug would work.

But yesterday – just 24 hours after the Gazette highlighted the dad-of-two’s plight – property developer Mr Vickers, 34, of Cleadon Park, South Shields, came forward to pay for a year’s worth of treatment.

Read how we reported that remarkable story here.

And another Gazette reader has pledged to donate a further £1,000.

Family and friends of Mr Cunningham, of Harton, had already started the fundraising and plan to continue efforts to help others.

Partner Yasmin Malik, 26, and mum to 10-month-old Glen Jnr, said: “It’s amazing the amount we needed was achieved so quickly, thanks to Kenny’s generosity, and that will keep Glen in injections for the next year.

“A lot of people had started to organise events that were set to be held in the next few days.

“But we have asked them to continue their fundraising efforts and we are going to add everything raised to the charity that will start to take shape over the next few days. That cash will be used to further Glen’s treatment after the first year and to keep him going.”

However, the family is also hoping others in similar circumstances will be able to benefit from the new organisation – yet to be named.

Miss Malik said: “We want to be able to help out others who find themselves left without any hope, like Glen was. If we are able to help others, the way people have helped out Glen, that would be amazing.”

To donate, send cash or cheques made out to Glen Cunningham, to Shields Gazette, c/o Verity Ward, Chapter Row, South Shields, NE33 1BL. Donations can also be handed in to the Gazette’s reception in Chapter Row.

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