Barry and Tuk's story
Barry Simmons has worked as a roofer for 42 years and lives in Harlow with his wife Tuk and their four year old daughter Tasmin. After hearing about us through Marie Curie, Barry was visited at home by our Welfare Visitor, Dave Adams to see how we could help.
Barry hurt his back at work after hitting it on a scaffolding pole and when he still didn’t feel better after a few weeks he went to the doctor. He was immediately referred to Harlow hospital and following several hospital appointments and investigations he was diagnosed with incurable bone cancer.
He is currently taking 11 tablets a day and has already started a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Barry said, “The treatment makes me very tired and sick and means that I have been unable to look after my daughter when my wife Tuk works. She works on a zero hours contract at a pub and has to work unsociable hours We don’t have any family nearby so things are very difficult.“
The family are waiting to hear from the consultant about an operation date so that any remaining cancerous tissue can be removed and the protective gel around the affected discs replaced. A metal plate will also be inserted to help release the pressure from the tumour.
Tuk does not drive, so even getting the weekly shopping is now a difficult task and Tasmin who has just started school needed a new school uniform which they can little afford. In addition to this Barry’s operation will be at North Middlesex hospital so Tuk will have to rely on friends to help her visit him whilst he is in hospital.
Barry added, “I have been told that my condition is manageable but I will not be cured. I really worry about Tuk and Tasmin and how they will cope. To hear that the Lighthouse Club was able to help us was a massive relief and whilst we are still struggling financially, the money offered to us has helped ease some of the stress and pressure.
If you would like to help people like Barry, Tuk and Tasmin, please contact us to find out how you too can make a difference.