Support for life-saving treatment is ‘overwhelming’

Members of Andy's Army, (l-r) Millie Hitchins, 10, Ronnie Pearce, 8, Sherry-Anne Thomson and Rhys Pearce, 10, after their sponsored walk. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142679-4)
Members of Andy's Army, (l-r) Millie Hitchins, 10, Ronnie Pearce, 8, Sherry-Anne Thomson and Rhys Pearce, 10, after their sponsored walk. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142679-4)
Pudsey the bear and St Thomas More headteacher Colin Flanagan Picture: Habibur Rahman

Children in Need: Pudsey Bear cycles around primary school

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THE family of a man dying from cancer have thanked the ‘overwhelming’ support to help fund potential life-saving treatment.

More than 100 supporters of Andy Prowting – dubbed Andy’s Army – were out in force yesterday as they held a pub fundraiser and completed an eight-mile sponsored walk.

ANDY PROWTING   (PM)           MRW    3/9/2014   ''Andy Prowting (24) from Leigh Park''Andy has a vigorous form of cancer and is hoping to raise sufficient funds to travel to Texax in the USA for a revolutionary form of treatment''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142581-0462) PPP-140309-134542003

ANDY PROWTING (PM) MRW 3/9/2014 ''Andy Prowting (24) from Leigh Park''Andy has a vigorous form of cancer and is hoping to raise sufficient funds to travel to Texax in the USA for a revolutionary form of treatment''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142581-0462) PPP-140309-134542003

The 24-year-old, (pictured), from Leigh Park, was well enough to see the army set off but had to return to hospital as he is on a morphine pack following a bad reaction to an immune booster.

His sister Sam Clarke, 30, said she was overwhelmed by the number of people who had turned out for the walk and at a fun day, which included live music at The Curlew pub in Petersfield Road, Havant.

‘It’s unbelievable, it’s so overwhelming – there were 103 people doing the walk,’ she said. ‘I can’t believe how much the community have come together.

‘On the walk people were stopping in their cars – one person stopped and gave £20. We just can’t thank people enough.’

As reported in The News on Saturday, Andy discovered a cancerous mole on his back after being sunburnt during a holiday in Turkey last year.

In April, he went to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham where surgeons removed lymph nodes under his right arm and tissue in his back.

He then went to Southampton for a chemotherapy clinical trial but doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his bones and liver and Andy was told he has just nine months to live.

His family and friends are now desperately trying to raise £60,000 for treatment in Texas, USA, which is not available in the UK.

Andy’s best friend Richard Ward, 24, of Stansted Crescent, West Leigh, was at the packed fundraising event yesterday.

He said: ‘It’s horrible, it’s quite saddening – really, it’s frightening.’

He added the turnout was brilliant and it was good that people were helping.

‘It’s brilliant, I didn’t even know he knew this many people,’ he said. ‘It’s amazing support from people.’

Supporters had walked from the 99p store in Park Parade, Havant, to Hayling Island. Andy’s cousin Rachel Betteridge, 24, of Langstone Road, Milton, said: ‘It’s quite overwhelming with the amount of people who have come.

‘We’re getting loads of random people giving us donations.’

Since Andy was featured in The News, donations have come from as far as China.

More fundraising will take place in the next few weeks to push Andy closer to his target.

To donate and find out more, search Andy’s Army on Facebook.