Fareham girl to paddleboard from the Isle of Wight to Gosport as part of push to raise £100,000 for dad's cancer treatment
A DEVOTED daughter is set to paddleboard from the Isle of Wight to Gosport in a bid to raise £100,000 for her dad to have life-prolonging cancer treatment.
12-year-old Seren Killpartrick from Fareham said she would 'do anything' for her Royal Navy engineer father, Paul, who was told last month he had a terminal brain tumour - and will be making the journey accompanied by family friends later this month.
Generous supporters from across the country have so far contributed more than £67,000 to the cause – as members of the Royal Navy have pushed it out to their contacts, who have responded with kindness.
It is planned the funds will go towards specialist proton beam therapy, which is not offered on the NHS, to shrink the tumour in Paul’s brain while causing less damage to the area than radiotherapy.
Cams Hill student Seren said: ‘It was heartbreaking when we knew dad had cancer - it’s the worst thing to happen in my life.
‘I never thought something like this would happen to him as he was so fit and healthy.
‘I was out paddleboarding with my aunt and I said “I could just paddleboard to the Isle of Wight from here”. It started as a joke and then it became a real thing.
‘I am excited because I know I can do it and I’ll have lots of people helping me.
‘It would mean the world to me to hit the £100,000 target - I would do anything for my dad.’
41-year-old Paul described his daughter as a ‘force of nature.’
‘Nothing will stop her, she’s like me,’ he said.
‘I actually bought the paddleboard for the two of us to go out together and of course I haven’t been able to.’
Paul first noticed symptoms including fatigue and a high heart rate while exercising as far back as December 2019, however, repeated blood tests did not show anything was wrong.
An ECG a year later highlighted some anomalies and then when symptoms got worse in June 2021 he was booked in for an MRI scan at QA Hospital.
By then Paul was experiencing co-ordination problems on his left side as well as some brain fog - which he had initially mistaken for a side effect of catching Covid-19 in February.
But the scan showed a significant lesion on his brain. A biopsy later carried out at Southampton Genera; Hospital revealed it was high grade - meaning it can spread more quickly - and the doctor gave him between nine and 12 months to live.
However, this spurred Paul to find a solution and he discovered the possibility of private proton treatment at a centre in Reading as an alternative to radiotherapy, which he is currently waiting for.
He said: ‘It’s the engineer in me - I see something wrong and I think I just need to fix it.
‘Of course it was devastating but this treatment offers some hope.
‘I’ve been in contact with the centre and it could be that they are able to shrink the tumour down enough so I can live almost normally for a time before it needs shrinking again. But it’s about getting it done quickly now.’
Since the scan Paul’s symptoms have progressed and he has now lost a lot of his mobility.
His wife of 14 years, Rhian, who he met at Royal Navy training more than two decades ago has also given up work to support him.
She said: ‘It was shocking and upsetting to hear he had cancer - every worst emotion and feeling you can think of.
‘But we’ve been so blown away by the support on the fundraising page - there have been a lot of donations from people from the navy who we’ve never met, it’s amazing.’
Seren’s paddleboard will take place on September 16.
To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/serenshope?utm_id=66&utm_term=PPQMPQaV8.