Haywards Heath father to host fundraiser after testicular cancer diagnosis

Alistair and Arwen Picture by Southern News and Pictures (SNAP) SUS-160703-111506001
Alistair and Arwen Picture by Southern News and Pictures (SNAP) SUS-160703-111506001

A father who was diagnosed with cancer just weeks after the birth of his daughter is hosting a fundraising feast for Cancer Research UK.

Alistair Loft, 33, of Chapman Way, Haywards Heath, was told he had a four-inch tumour in his abdomen – testicular cancer which was also affecting his kidney.

He had chemotherapy treatment which killed the cancer but left him infertile.

However after IVF treatment, he and wife Jodie, 33, are expecting a second child, a brother or sister for Arwen, now three.

The family is celebrating Alistair’s recovery by taking part in Britain’s Biggest Breakfast for Cancer Research UK, and encouraging others to hold their own fund raising feasts at home, in the office or at school during March.

The charity is encouraging people to organise a breakfast or brunch party at home, in the office or at school during the March, and invite friends and family to make a donation to attend.

Alistair became ill in October 2012, just a few weeks after Arwen was born.

He had stomach aches which were initially put down to kidney stones. But the pain grew worse and eventually he went to A&E.

Alastair said: “A&E in Brighton on a Friday night is not a great place to be. I waited until 4am for a CT scan but I’m so glad I did as that’s how they picked up the tumour.

“The following day I had further tests and the oncologist confirmed it was cancer. The bottom fell out of our world when we were told the news. My parents and my wife’s mum and dad were with us to help look after our baby daughter and we were all devastated.”

Alistair responded well to treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton.

He said: “A week and a half after I was diagnosed I started chemotherapy. I still don’t think I’ve come to terms with it all.

“It was difficult coping with a new baby and everything that was happening to me but Jodie and I were determined we’d get through it. Although the chemotherapy made me tired and ill, I was off work so it did mean I spent more time with Jodie and Arwen during those first few months which was really special.”

Alistair will be hosting his Britain’s Biggest Breakfast at Harlands Services Ltd, Perrymount Road, Hayward’s Heath, where he works as an IT administrator.

He said: “The experience of being diagnosed and treated for cancer has helped me appreciate how crucial research is so I want to raise as much money as possible to help more people survive.”

Every day, around 130 people are diagnosed with cancer in the south east.

Emily Attwood, from Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re encouraging people to invite friends, family and neighbours to take a seat at the breakfast table.

“Every step we take towards beating cancer relies on every hour of research, every pound donated and every person who gets involved.”

Cancer Research UK’s Britain’s Biggest Breakfast pack contains everything supporters need to plan their perfect breakfast, including posters, decorations, recipe suggestions and fundraising packs.

To sign up visit cruk.org/breakfast

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.midsussextimes.co.uk

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/midsussextimes

3) Follow us on Twitter @midsussex_times

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Mid Sussex Times - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.