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Man needs £50,000 to get to Miami for life-saving cancer treatment

PUBLISHED: 15:47 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:30 25 August 2020

Back row: Aaran Shepherdson (his son) Becci Davey (son’s partner). Middle: his granddaughter. Front: Sarah Mcnab (daughter), Leon Mcnab (son in law), his granddaughters, Sharon Shepherdson (wife) and Howard himself. Photo: Supplied by family

Back row: Aaran Shepherdson (his son) Becci Davey (son’s partner). Middle: his granddaughter. Front: Sarah Mcnab (daughter), Leon Mcnab (son in law), his granddaughters, Sharon Shepherdson (wife) and Howard himself. Photo: Supplied by family

Archant

A “local legend” with stage three pancreatic cancer needs £50,000 to get to Miami for potentially life-saving treatment.

Howard, his wife Sharon and two of his grandchildren. Photo: Supplied by familyHoward, his wife Sharon and two of his grandchildren. Photo: Supplied by family

Howard Shepherdson, a 58-year-old known as ‘Shep’, owns ‘Save’N’Drive’ on Gorleston High street - but had to step back from the running of the business when he was delivered his devastating diagnosis in December 2019.

His family has set up a fundraiser which received donations of £10,000 in a week.

Mr Shepherdson’s story, according to his niece Paige Horsley, is “tragic”.

She said: “He was feeling a bit ill in November last year and we were all convinced he was just diabetic or something.

Left to right: Elizabeth Horsley (Howard's twin), Howard Shepherdson, Lloyd Horsley (brother-in-law) and Jean Knell. Photo: Supplied by familyLeft to right: Elizabeth Horsley (Howard's twin), Howard Shepherdson, Lloyd Horsley (brother-in-law) and Jean Knell. Photo: Supplied by family

“But just 24 hours after going to the doctors, he started to turn yellow and was admitted to hospital. It was tragic to see, because he was so fit and healthy just days before.

“He then took part in a clinical trial for which he had to travel between the JPH and the N&N for weeks on end for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It put a lot of strain on him.

“He’s now been told there’s nothing left they can do for him here. The only surgeon who can operate on him lives in Miami, where they use pioneering open NanoKnife surgery for patients with difficult-to-reach tumours.”

For his daughter Sarah, this is their last hope.

Howard Shepherdson. Photo: Supplied by familyHoward Shepherdson. Photo: Supplied by family

She said: “My dad really is my hero, and has always helped out so many local people. He truly deserves the chance to be operated on.

“It just goes to show that cancer really can affect any body at any time. It is truly devastating.”

Ms Horsley, whose mum is Mr Shepherdson’s twin sister, said her uncle was a “typical middle aged man” who was “too proud” to ask for help himself.

But she said he finally came round to the idea of a fundraiser after realising “there was no plan B”.

She said: “He has always taken care of his family and staff, and took out a loan over the course of the pandemic to make sure he could keep paying their wages.

“Because he’s a businessman people might think this fundraiser isn’t necessary, but he’s spent everything he’s got on his workers and his treatment.”

She added: “His daughter has three little kids, and his son’s girlfriend is expecting a baby in January.

“We’d love for him to be able to see his family grow.”

Donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/helphowardshep


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