BIRKDALE father Scott Lucas is pleading for the community’s help to treat a rare and aggressive cancer he has been living with for more than a year.
He believes his only hope of survival is a drug called Latruvo, which is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and will cost him $10,000 every three weeks.
In February 2017, Mr Lucas was diagnosed with a form of soft tissue sarcoma after going to the doctor with a lump on his leg and having tests done.
After numerous surgeries and failed attempts at treatment, including spending $15,000 on the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, the 53-year-old said his only hope was to fundraise for what could be the cure.
“I have high hopes for the Latruvo drug. It is the first thing they give you in America, most of Europe and even available in Pakistan when someone is showing my type of symptoms but for some reason we don’t have it in Australia,” he said.
“It’s very disappointing to think the one drug that can help me, which has been proven to show double the results of any other treatment, isn’t accessible.”
Mr Lucas said he was fighting cancer for his seven-year-old son Jack after telling him about his cancer about one month ago.
“I tried to shield him for as long as possible but I was losing hair with my treatment and he isn’t naive,” he said. “He was upset.
“I told him that I am going to do everything I can to try and beat it.”
Mr Lucas said he he was running out of treatment options.
“It’s frustrating going through it all only for it to be failed attempts,” he said. “It feels like you’re wasting your time and the side effects are tough.
“The process is emotional and draining for everyone and I’ve tried everything.”
Mr Lucas has written a letter to his son to help give him strength.
“I’ve had it for a while but the medicine I’ve been taking hasn’t worked as well as we hoped it would,” he wrote. “It’s ok to be scared Jack…I’m a bit scared to as I’m fighting a disease that is merciless.
“It’s ok to be scared Jack…I’m a bit scared to as I’m fighting a disease that is merciless.Scott Lucas writes to his son Jack
Mr Lucas left Jack with advice, including having a good education and being respectful of others.
“When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help, there is no shame, only strength, in recognising and asking,” he wrote. “Always enjoy your life, be present in the moment and live it to the fullest.”
Mr Lucas said raising funds for Latruvo was a last bid to beat his cancer after exhausting the savings he had.
To donate, visit the Rare Cancers Australia website here.