A newlywed dad has been diagnosed with cancer aged 33 after suffering ‘excruciating headaches’. Kal Donohue’s wife, Kerrie, has revealed her husband’s determined battle as friends, family – and even complete strangers – have so far raised a staggering £18,000 to help them through a viral GoFundMe appeal.
Kerrie’s heart-wrenching blurb on the website reveals they were married on April 10 last year – Kerrie describing him as the love of her life. The couple, who have three teenage children, went on to buy their first home together as a family in Daisy Hill, Westhoughton, Bolton.
But Kerrie, 37, told how on April 19 this year, Kal suddenly began to suffer excruciating headaches which caused him to vomit and lose his balance. After collapsing in hospital, he was rushed through for a CT scan, which sadly revealed two tumours in the back of his head
Transferred to Salford Royal Hospital, Kal had a full-body MRI scan. Kerrie said: “Whilst there, staff observed that Kal was suffering with stomach pains due to constipation and bloating. He told them that he had already seen his GP about this in the January and had been told that this was more than likely IBS.
“This prompted the consultant to arrange a full-body MRI scan. When the results came back on April 27, our whole life was completely turned upside-down.
“We were told that that the tumours in his brain were secondary cancer and that the primary source was in his bowel, where they had found a superior size mass – which had also spread to his liver and lungs. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing – we just didn’t understand. Why? How?
“He’s a 33-year-old fit and healthy young man, who eats incredibly well. We were in complete and utter shock. We have three beautiful children who adore him so much. How were we even going to be able to explain this horrendous news?”
Kerrie said doctors have told them it isn’t possible to operate as the cancer has spread too far. Kal, who has owned and run Kal’s Barbers in Market Street, Westhoughton, for more than 10 years, is now having chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next three months. He’s under the care of Salford Royal Hospital and the Christie in Manchester.
“My beautiful husband is a well-known and respected business man in our hometown, running a successful barbers for over a decade,” Kerrie, who works as an administrator at a sports company, said.
“However, since falling poorly he’s been unable to work and this has hit him extremely hard, not being able to provide for his family. But his courage is inspiring and I am so proud of how he’s dealing with everything. Kal is determined to try and beat this horrible disease and will not go down without a fight.”
The appeal for the family has been supported by hundreds of people. Kal’s brother-in-law, Peter Ball, is preparing to take on five marathons in five days in October this year to support the family.
Kerrie told the Manchester Evening News : “To be fair we are both quite positive people. Kal has been amazing. I am so proud of him and he’s very strong. He is doing really well – you would not think that there is anything wrong with him.
“Heartbreakingly, the doctors told us that it isn’t possible to operate as the cancer has spread too far, however they are willing to try radiotherapy and chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumours, so as to give him a better quality of life.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received.
“Westhoughton is a small community but they have all really pulled together. We cannot believe it and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped us.” To donate to the family, visit the GoFundMe page here.