Staff at the Wedgewood Rooms have sent good wishes to Greg Gilbert, the lead singer of indie band the Delays, after he was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.
The 39-year-old father-of-two’s fiancee Stacey has launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise “at least £100,000” for him to travel overseas to undergo urgent treatment that she says is not available to him on the NHS.
Gilbert, who fronts the Hampshire-based band, received the diagnosis weeks ago on his youngest daughter’s first birthday and also learned that the cancer had spread to his lungs.
Jeff Priestly, general manager of The Wedgewood Rooms, in Albert Road, expressed his sympathy towards Greg and his family.
Jeff said: ‘The Delays have played here a couple of times and he is a lovely person, a great musician and easy to work with.
‘The band sold out two consecutive nights here a few years ago and he is a really nice chap.
‘We have given money towards the fund and will do what we can to support him.’
To donate to Greg’s cause, visit https://www.gofundme.com/give4greg
On the Go Fund Me campaign page, Stacey wrote: “Greg Gilbert is known to many as the singer and guitarist of the band Delays and as an artist.
“To me, he is my fiancee, my joint adventurer through life but most importantly, the daddy to our two baby girls Dali (3) and Bay (1). He has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer that has spread to his lungs and to our horror has been told that the NHS is limited in what they can do to save him.”
She explained that Gilbert had been treated for irritable bowel syndrome prior to being blighted with severe pains in his abdomen, leading doctors to discover a “cancerous blockage in his bowel”.
She wrote: “After further investigation, we were told the devastating news that the bowel cancer has also spread to his lungs and because of the extent of these tumours, they would only be able to offer him a 12 week course of chemotherapy as he is currently not a candidate for surgery to remove the primary tumour in his bowel.
“We were told this heart breaking news on our daughter Bay’s 1st birthday. I cannot put into words the terror and shock of this moment. To hear Greg ask the consultant how long he had left to live is the darkest moment of my life and something that will haunt me forever.”
She said that Gilbert is “genetically incompatible with the only free immunotherapy drug available on the NHS” and that other drugs could work for him but they are not funded by the NHS.
The family are “not prepared to accept this bad news lying down”, Stacey wrote.
“Greg is an otherwise fit and healthy 39-year old man who has never smoked, taken drugs and has rarely even drunk alcohol.
“Through extensive research and correspondence with specialist clinics in the UK and abroad, we have discovered new and groundbreaking treatments. These are targeted treatments such as stereotactic radiotherapy, microwave ablation and personalised immunotherapy.
“These have had astounding results on others that share the same prognosis as Greg. The treatments are currently not offered on the NHS due to not meeting their cost efficiency criteria.
“We have always been huge advocates for the NHS but this is just heartbreaking - I just cannot let Greg die and our daughters grow up without their daddy because of money.”
Since the crowdfunding campaign - dubbed Give4Greg - was started three days ago, nearly 2,000 people have donated to the value of just under £43,000.
The Delays were formed in Southampton in 2001 and its current members are brothers Greg and Aaron Gilbert, and Colin Fox and Rowley.
They have seen two of their four studio albums reach the top 30 in the UK Albums Chart, with their debut record Faded Seaside Glamour hit number 17 in 2004.