A dad-of-three will become the first person in Scotland to take a radical new cancer drug that could extend his life by 15 years.
Allan Lewis has battled the disease since June 2012, when he was diganosed with terminal neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer and secondary cancer in his liver, and has undergone two intensive periods of chemotherapy and a gruelling clinical trial, all to no avail.
I have my kids to think about. I’ll have to sacrifice nine months, but the result could mean I have another 10 years with themAllan Lewis
The 39-year-old Maddiston was told earlier this month by his doctors at the Beatson Cancer Centre that he had now exhausted all treatment options and that he likely had only 18 months to live.
But then came the news last week that he was suitable for treatment by a new drug, Lu-Dota-Tyr-octreotate, which has only been prescribed to a handful of people south of the border.
The downside was it is not currently available via the NHS in Scotland.
After originally planning to pay for the £48,000 cost himself via fundraising, Allan is now waiting to hear if he will receive full funding for the drug.
“My doctors are confident I’ll be approved,” he said.
“I’ve been told it’s going to be hell. But I’m getting the drug regardless, whether it’s me paying for it or the NHS.”
Allan has already endured gruelling treatments that have sent him “to hell and back” - anything that might prolong his life that little bit longer.
Dad to Cameron (12), he was worried he may not live long enough to see the birth of daughter Millie in May 2013.
After reaching that landmark, he began to fear the worst when wife Lee fell pregnant again. But Allan was present to welcome baby Ellie into the family last month.
He continued to search for a cure, and signed up for a clinical trial knowing that even if it didn’t help him personally, the results would at least be of benefit to others in the future.
Now, his doctors at the Beatson Cancer Centre near Glasgow may finally have found him a treatment that could work.
There was only one problem - the price tag.
“I was originally told it would cost £100,000,” said Allan. “It’s not available under the NHS in Scotland, and only a handful of people have been treated with it in England.”
Friends and family immediately began to offer donations to help Allan pay for the new drug.
But he was wary about undertaking another fundraising drive. Having worked part-time and then full-time since the age of 13, “and never having asked for anything from anyone in my life,” he preferred to raise money on behalf of others, rather than himself.
The Falkirk Herald reported in September last year that the former Graeme High pupil had raised more than £20,000 for the Beatson as a thank you for prolonging his life.
Then came the news last Friday that he may be eligible for funding after all.
A final decision is expected within days.
Allan has vowed that any money already donated to him will be returned or passed to cancer charities if it is no longer required.
“I’m told it doesn’t have the potential to cure me, but it does have the potential to give me 10-15 years,” he said.
The treatment means that Allan will barely be able to see his children for nine months. As it is a form of radiotherapy, he cannot be near youngsters and can only spend 30 minutes around adults each day.
He plans to stay in touch with his loved ones via a FaceTime video application played on an iPad.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” he added. “I have my kids to think about. I’ll have to sacrifice nine months, but the result could mean I have another 10 years with them.”