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WALES: Cancer fundraiser by hard-hit family; Leukaemia sufferer Terry helps research on new drug.

Byline: By CARL BUTLER

A FAMILY whose lives have been blighted by leukaemia have launched a massive charity fund-raising effort in North Wales to beat the disease.

Terry Hickmott, 50, was diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago and is relying on a new wonder drug to keep his condition in check.

But doctors have warned him they cannot guarantee he will live more than five years.

Without his well-paid job as a senior surveyor with a private construction company, Terry had to sell his treasured MG sports car to pay half his daughter's wedding costs, and is now looking to sell his home.

Terry, and wife Debbie, are selling their home of 17 years in Larchfields, Saughall, just over the Flintshire border, so that they can move to Denbigh, to be near their daughter Cerries, 23, who lives in Love Lane, in the town.

Since the charity Leukaemia Research does not have wide representation in North Wales, the family have set up a Denbighshire branch.

And they have just raised about pounds 500 with their first fund-raiser at the Pink House health and beauty centre in Shot-ton.

Terry is treasurer of the new branch, Debbie its chairwoman and Cerries, who works for a promotions and marketing company in Prestatyn, is the secretary.

"I was diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago and my wife has rheumatoid arthritis.

"I had to give up work while I was undergoing treatment.

"The idea is we should sell the house and get rid of the mortgage and move somewhere cheaper.

"For most of the 25 years we have been married, Debbie has been fund-raising for one thing or another.

"We became involved with Leukaemia Research because the professor I am under in Liverpool, Prof Richard Clark of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, receives grants and funding for research.

"He is one of the top specialists in the country and is pushing ahead with drug development, so we are doing our bit.

"We have set up the Denbighshire branch with our daughter as secretary and Debbie as events organiser. We are doing collections and trying to raise awareness by distributing leaflets to Ys-byty Glan Clwyd and holding charity events.

"I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and generally it's not curable.

The only cure is a bone marrow transplant, or stem cell transplant, but the risks are very high indeed. I don't have brothers or sisters and my parents are dead so I would have to go on the donor list."

Prof Clark is working on developing the drug, but research takes money, which is why Terry's family are trying to raise funds.

Terry also has a stomach complaint which causes problems for him eating. It means he is highly unlikely to ever return to work.

The couple have gone without Christmas presents for two years

Debbie said: "We are struggling to cope with our mortgage. When Terry was diagnosed three years ago we realised that losing the main bread winner would mean sacrifices."

The branch events can be found on the main www.lrf.org.uk website or contact Terry and Debbie direct on 01244 881384.

carlbutler@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Leukaemia victim Terry Hickmott, his wife Debbie (above) and daughter Cerries (left) have set up a Denbighshire branch of Leukaemia Research and are organising rundraising events Cerries picture: ROBERT PARRY JONES
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 29, 2007
Words:557
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