UK dad's heartbreaking promises to infant son after rare cancer diagnosis

An English father has made a list of promises to his infant son after being diagnosed with a rare, inoperable form of stomach cancer.

Paul Hill, 36, suddenly became unable to swallow food properly just three months ago. He was prescribed medication for acid reflux, but his condition worsened. The Yorkshire father couldn't even eat a bowl of porridge, as each swallow left him in agony. 

Four weeks later, Hill's family decided to pay for private tests instead of waiting for a slot with the NHS. The 36-year-old was diagnosed with advanced diffused gastric cancer.

Hill's wife, Jessica, has started a donation page to fundraise £100,000 (NZ$191,869) required for life-saving immunotherapy treatment in the US. 

Hill and his wife, Jessica.
Hill and his wife, Jessica. Photo credit: Facebook/Paul Hill

She told local media her husband had no symptoms of the disease - although doctors say the cancerous cells have been inside Hill for around five years.

Jessica says if the disease had been caught earlier, her husband's stomach could have been removed. Yet his lack of symptoms and young age meant the disease went undetected - spreading into his pancreas and gastroesophageal junction.

Hill has since compiled a list of promises to his 17-month-old son, George, to help with his battle against the inoperable cancer. 

These promises include being around to see George start, and leave, school, to take him to the pub, to help him move into his first home and to see his future grandchildren.

Hill has been offered a place in a five-year UK clinical trial, where stomach cancer patients are given immunotherapy in the hope it may become a chemotherapy alternative nationwide - but as a double-blind trial, only 50 percent of patients will actually receive treatment, reports Hull Daily Mail.

Jessica told the outlet that they can't afford to wait five years, and Hill was taken off chemotherapy after having had an adverse reaction.

"Immunotherapy is one of the only chances we have left," she told Hull Daily Mail.

The family's JustGiving fundraising page was set up last week. As of Tuesday (local time), almost £8,000 (NZ$15,343) has been put towards the £100,000 goal.

Jessica says all the donations will go directly to stomach cancer research if Hill secures a place in the UK immunotherapy trial, and is one of the patients to receive treatment.

"If he doesn't, we will need to take him to America for treatment. He needs to see his little boy grow up, and he made a promise to grow old with me," she said.


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