Cornwall father and daughter diagnosed with same incurable cancer three years apart
A father and daughter in Cornwall who were diagnosed with the same form of rare incurable cancer just three years apart.
They are now on a mission to fund new treatments before it’s too late.
Neil Pearce, from Looe, was diagnosed with myeloma back in December 2017 and is now on his final treatment option.
Despite suffering from nagging backache and fatigue for six months, his cancer was repeatedly missed and misdiagnosed.
Neil's daughter Hannah Pearce, from Liskeard, was diagnosed with the same disease in 2020 at the age of 46.
Her cancer was missed for a year and initially misdiagnosed too.
While Hannah has responded well to treatment, Neil’s cancer has unfortunately returned three times over the past five years.
Neil, now 77, is currently on his last round of available chemotherapy, after which the grandfather of eight will have exhausted all treatment avenues.
Hannah is now preparing to run the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday 28 May in a bid to help charity Myeloma UK fund vital research into new treatments which could help her dad.
Hannah said: “Even if we can get research and funding for just one more treatment, another chemo that would keep my dad going a bit longer, all the running would be well worth it.”
Myeloma occurs in the bone marrow and currently affects more than 24,000 people in the UK.
Despite being the third most common type of blood cancer, it is especially difficult to detect as symptoms, such as back pain and fatigue, are often linked to general ageing or minor conditions.
While it is incurable, myeloma is treatable in the majority of cases. Treatment is aimed at controlling the disease, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes, and extending and improving patients’ quality of life.
Hannah said: “We both want to live as long as possible. That’s why I’m raising money for research and treatments. There’s still a lot we don’t know about myeloma and how it’s genetically passed on.
"My main focus has to be on my daughter – she’s 15 and is in the middle of her GCSEs. Equally, Dad has other children and grandchildren and they are also a consideration. As must be other families affected by the disease, to be able to help them would be so rewarding.”