Cancer Fathers Fundraising Vow
Byline: By Jane Picken Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), April 4, 2006
Brave cancer sufferer Arthur Tiffin has vowed to raise thousands of pounds for others living with asbestos-related mesothelioma.
The father-of-two, from Walbottle, Newcastle, threw his support behind the Chronicle's campaign to get life-extending cancer drug Alimta available on the NHS to treat people with the lung disease.
Now Mr Tiffin, 52, is lobbying companies and organising fundraising events across Tyneside to provide vital funds as more come forward with the killer illness.
Much of the work, which will generate funds for local charity the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, is being carried out by Mr Tiffin's best friend of 40 years, Billy Patterson, as Mr Tiffin makes fortnightly trips to London for chemotherapy.
Mr Tiffin, who was exposed to asbestos when working as a boiler engineer in the 1970s, said: "We've got high hopes about raising a lot because more people are starting to become concerned about mesothelioma.
"I'm aiming for pounds 10,000 and we're appealing for anyone to make a donation.
"They've not got a cure for it, but donations can go towards research.
"The company I last worked for, McNulty Contractors in South Shields, have said they're going to give me a substantial donation to hand over to the Mick Knighton Research Fund, and I've approached lots of other companies on Tyneside."
The research fund was set up in memory of Mick Knighton by his widow, Christine.
He died in 2001 after being exposed to asbestos while serving in the Royal Navy.
Mr Tiffin, who lives with wife Cora, 52, underwent four sessions of chemotherapy with Alimta before doctors revealed it was not working and the mesothelioma was getting worse.
Now he is receiving a mix of three drugs ( Cisplatin, Mitomycin and Irinotecan ( but still hails Alimta as a wonder drug.
He said: "Alimta is a fantastic drug. It's just that I'm unlucky and it's not working for me.
"It was worth every second I spent campaigning for it and it will help many others.
"Some people do not realise mesothelioma is related to asbestos and people really need to make that connection because asbestos is everywhere, even in our homes, and it could be dangerous."
On Saturday Mr Tiffin joined firefighters from the Fossway station in Newcastle to collect cash from shoppers at Grey's Monument and in Northumberland Street.
Mr Tiffin and Mr Patterson will also hold an entertainment night on May 6 at West Denton Social Club, from 7pm. The night will include entertainment, games and a disco.
Tickets are pounds 10. For more information, or to make a donation contact Mr
Patterson on (0191) 274 3490.