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Lung cancer sufferer and fundraiser reacts to NHS’ ‘wonderful’ drug news

PUBLISHED: 15:02 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:02 29 September 2017

Mr Clayton on his climb of Snowdon, which he took on whilst still undergoing cancer treatment. Photo: Lorraine Clayton

Mr Clayton on his climb of Snowdon, which he took on whilst still undergoing cancer treatment. Photo: Lorraine Clayton

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A lung cancer sufferer and fundraiser has spoken out about the news that a life-saving cancer treatment will be made available to patients on the NHS.

Bill Clayton with his wife Lorraine. Photo: Lorraine Clayton Bill Clayton with his wife Lorraine. Photo: Lorraine Clayton

Bill Clayton, who is 70, and president of Fakenham Town FC, was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2014.

He has since raised more than £3,000 for the Roy Castle Lung Foundation with a sponsored climb of Mount Snowdon.

Mr Clayton described the news that the drug which has kept him alive will be made available on the NHS as “wonderful”.

He was initially treated at the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital where he had fourteen rounds of chemotherapy and twenty sessions of radiotherapy.

After resorting to private medical care, he is now having immunology treatment with the drug nivomulab, which has not previously been available on the NHS in England. However, it is free on the NHS in Scotland.

Mr Clayton, of Heath Way, Fakenham, was inspired to fundraise to help other cancer sufferers.

He took on the mountain climbing challenge for the Roy Castle Lung Foundation, in June 2017, climbing for two and a half hours to reach base camp, at an elevation of 1,600ft.

Describing the challenge, he said that the first bit of Snowdon is the hardest and steepest.

In total, the climb raised £3,254.

Mr Clayton, who has four children and five grandchildren, was supported by his wife Lorraine, 61. He said he needed to thank many people for their support, including his doctor, Tom Newsom-Davis, and the London Oncology Clinic.

He said: “It’s really important to me to thank these special people.”

“Without them I wouldn’t be here today, and this money wouldn’t have been raised.”

Nivomulab will now be available to NHS patients in England, after a watchdog approved its use through the Cancer Drugs Fund. Mr Clayton said: “I am just happy that people are going to get a bigger chance.”

He described the impact the drug had on his treatment, saying: “I had holes in my bones, and after six sessions of immunotherapy they had healed over.”

Mr Clayton added that he had experienced no side effects, and welcomed the drugs introduction to the NHS. He described it as wonderful news; adding: “its worked for a lot of people in Scotland and England.”

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