Fundraising appeal for young man diagnosed with rare form of bone cancer launched

Fundraising appeal for young man diagnosed with rare form of bone cancer launched
Lee Wallace, pictured just after his diagnosis in late 2018

A fundraising appeal is calling for donations to help a young Westmeath man beat a rare form of cancer.

Lee Wallace is suffering from a bone sarcoma in his pelvis and his cancer has spread to his lungs.

The 26-year-old needs to travel abroad for the necessary medical expertise and to undergo surgery to amputate the right side of his pelvis and leg. Over €55,000 has been raised since last night, with a target of €250,000.

Lee during recent chemotherapy
Lee during recent chemotherapy

Bone sarcomas are very rare, particularly in young adults. Lee's tumour is so rare it has never been seen by leading specialists in the UK or China.

It's a mixture of osteosarcoma, an Ewing's sarcoma, and a spindle cell sarcoma, which has made a definitive diagnosis impossible to date.

Doctors are unsure of how to proceed. There are neither an oncology sarcoma specialist nor an orthopaedic oncologist who specialise in pelvic sarcomas in Ireland.

Lee with his sisters and mother
Lee with his sisters and mother

Lee received his initial diagnosis in August 2018, after going to A&E in Mullingar Hospital in the middle of the night with a pain in his groin, which was radiating down his right leg. He had been having pain for some time but believed he had pulled a muscle.

The next day he was told he had a large bone sarcoma of his right pelvis and would be transferred to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.

Lee and some of his friends at a hurling game in Thurles.
Lee and some of his friends at a hurling game in Thurles.

He has made numerous trips to Birmingham in the months since then, for biopsies, further scans, pre-surgery assessments, and consultations.

Since October 2018, Lee has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy in St Vincent's in order to shrink his tumour in preparation for surgery.

However, this has not progressed as hoped and the pelvic tumour has grown, while his cancer has spread to his lungs.

His family say this has made the need for a cure all the more urgent, and are calling for anyone with knowledge of a medical oncologist with expertise in the treatment of sarcomas, particularly of the pelvis, to come forward, as well as asking for donations to fund such treatment.

You can donate to Lee Wallace's treatment fund here.

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