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Brave Lowestoft man pledges to help cancer sufferers

PUBLISHED: 16:32 10 February 2012

Dean Lawson (right) Shaun Underdown (left) and Gemma Searby (back) hand over a cheque for nearly £5,000 to Jenny Watson from the Palliative Care East Charity.

Dean Lawson (right) Shaun Underdown (left) and Gemma Searby (back) hand over a cheque for nearly £5,000 to Jenny Watson from the Palliative Care East Charity.

Archant © 2012

A LOWESTOFT man bravely battling a rare form of cancer has vowed to help other sufferers by setting up his own charity.

Dean Lawson, 36, is planning to launch Laugh Out Loud – a charity providing a helping hand to cancer patients in the Lowestoft area.

The move comes after Mr Lawson underwent ground-breaking surgery last year to remove a tumour on his rib the size of an apple.

Since then, he has continued to have regular chemotherapy sessions but has been told his cancer is terminal.

However, this has not stopped the former Bird’s Eye worker from staying positive and raising £4,800 for Palliative Care East (PCE) – money which he presented to the appeal on Monday.

Mr Lawson, of Stanford Street, is launching the charity with his friends Shaun and Gemma Underdown.

He said: “The charity will help local people by giving them money while they are being treated for cancer.

“It could be used to buy a youngster a PSP (computer game device) to keep them entertained in hospital.”

Speaking about the money he raised for PCE, he added: “This money is going straight to the Palliative Care East Centre. It is close to my heart and it needs to be there to help better that building.”

The Laugh Out Loud charity will help local people suffering with cancer by providing them with money up to £300.

It will be registered at the Mariner’s Rest pub, on Rotterdam Road, where Mr Lawson held the fundraising activities for PCE.

Jenny Watson, appeal coordinator for PCE, said: “Dean and his friends have done a fantastic job and worked really hard. It is really lovely to see a group of people who want to make lives better.”

As previously reported by The Journal, Mr Lawson, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in December 2009 after he became concerned about a lump above his collar bone.

Initially, the problem was passed off as a muscle strain, but scans later revealed a tumour on his rib.

At first, it was believed he was suffering with lung cancer, but further biopsies revealed he had Ewing’s sarcoma – a disease where cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue. The condition was deemed so rare that a surgeon had to practise on a cadaver before removing the tumour because he had only seen one other case in 20 years of medicine.

PCE has been raising money to build a new palliative care centre within the grounds of the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Work is due to start at the end of this month.

The centre will offer support to patients and families whose lives are affected by incurable illness such as cancer or motor neurone disease.

The next charity event will be a dog and pig race night on Saturday, February 25 from 8.30pm at the Mariner’s Rest pub. For more information about the Laugh Out Loud charity, contact Shaun Underdown of East Coast Inns on eastcoastinns@hotmail.com


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