Islington dad launches £27,000 crowdfunder for life-saving cancer treatment

Ibrahim Guzel with his three children, in hospital

Ibrahim Guzel with his three children, in hospital - Credit: Leila Guzel

An Islington father-of-three is trying to raise £27,000 to continue receiving life-saving cancer treatment in Turkey.

Ibrahim Guzel, 45, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called chordoma on his right lung in 2017 after visiting his GP complaining of back pains, when his wife was just four months pregnant.

The NHS was unable to provide treatment, and he was forced to seek monthly treatment in Turkey.

For the past two months he has not been able to travel there, as his family ran out of money.

They set up a crowdfunder on GoFundMe, but the nearly £8,000 raised so far has already being spent on treatment.

He believes that with money he could survive another 10 to 15 years.

He said: “Without the money to be treated I have had to be stuck like a pussy cat.”

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In 2017 Mr Guzel was offered surgery on the NHS, but was warned they could only remove part of the tumour that was already 5cm.

After an international search for another option Mr Guzel discovered Dr Semih Halezeroglu on Youtube, a thoracic surgeon in Istanbul who could operate for €20,000.

By the time the surgery was arranged the NHS told Mr Guzel the tumour was too large to operate and in two weeks it would hit the heart and he would die.

He and his wife Leila flew to Turkey for the operation where Dr Halezeroglu removed a 2.4kg and 25cm tumour, by removing one lung, three ribs, part of diaphragm and the pericardium.

While Mr Guzel has been unwell and travelling to Turkey he has moved his children, who are now 8, 6, and 3 to Kazakhstan, his wife’s home country, to be educated and cared for.

Schools’ opening and closing had proven a further challenge to the family, who are unable to pay for childcare.

Mrs Guzel said: “I am overstretched caring for Ibrahim and three children, we are fundraising so we can be a family.”

Mr Guzel suffers with epilepsy too, making it dangerous for him to be left alone while he is unwell.

He said: “My children are old enough to be scared I am going to die.

“If I die now it will be bad for them, but in five years’ time, when my eldest son is 14, he will understand life and death better.”

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