Bristol

Cancer man Mike Brandon's treatment to begin in USA

Kate, Mike and Verena Brandon Image copyright Brandon family
Image caption The couple with Mike's mother Verena Brandon outside the hospital in Pennsylvania

A man with a rare type of leukaemia whose wife raised £400,000 to cover his medical costs in the USA will begin treatment on Thursday.

Kate Brandon, 33, set up a social media campaign two weeks ago for her husband Mike, 31, after his consultant said all NHS routes were "exhausted".

She hoped to raise enough money to send him for "revolutionary" cancer trials at the University of Pennsylvania.

The target was reached within days and the couple flew out on Tuesday.

Mrs Brandon said: "We have had some preliminary tests done and have met with Mike's medical team.

"All being well we are hoping to go for cell collection on Thursday."

Image copyright Kate and Mike Brandon
Image caption Mrs Brandon is fighting for the second time in two years to save her husband's life

She added that she was "overwhelmed and grateful" for the support of the public and the media, and wanted to thank everyone "from the bottom of our hearts".

Mr Brandon was diagnosed two years ago with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

An earlier social media campaign found a stem cell donor for his condition, but he relapsed in February and was told there was "little" his consultant could do.

Image copyright Kate and Mike Brandon
Image caption Kate Brandon set up a social media campaign to raise £400,000 for her husband's cancer treatment
Image copyright Kate and Mike Brandon
Image caption Mike Brandon described his wife as his "ultimate superhero"

Mr Brandon said his "family and friends have had to bear the true load" of his illness, and described his wife as his "ultimate superhero".

Mrs Brandon said £400,000 was the minimum needed to cover medical costs, flights and general living costs.

The CAR T-cell therapy treatment will be carried out at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Centre.

Any extra money raised by the #donate4Mike appeal will be donated to Bristol's oncology unit.

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