Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Sold to Help Son's Cancer Battle; Elderly Parents Decide to Go Ahead with Move

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Sold to Help Son's Cancer Battle; Elderly Parents Decide to Go Ahead with Move

Article excerpt

Byline: By Dave Black

A DEVOTED couple are entering the New Year in new surroundings after deciding to sell their home of 30 years to help their cancer-hit son enjoy precious extra time with his loved ones.

Ken and Irene Potts, both 78, are heading into 2008 in their new cottage in Blyth, Northumberland after saying an emotional goodbye their old house in Ashington and putting it on the market.

They decided to go through the upheaval of moving home in their twilight years in an attempt to help their son Ken, 54, who is suffering from terminal cancer.

Mr and Mrs Potts made the decision several months ago, at a time when Ken Jnr was being denied the life-prolonging "magic bullet" drug Sutent on the NHS.

Ken and his family were faced with finding the pounds 3,300 needed to pay for each round of Sutent treatment privately, after health officials ruled he did not qualify to receive it on the health service.

Mr and Mrs Potts, who had lived in their home in Maple Street, Ashington since the 1970s, decided to sell it and move into rented accommodation to help their son to continue paying for his vital treatment - saying they would "live in a tent" if it helped him survive.

Eventually, health officials did a U-turn and Ken Jnr, of Hunter Avenue, Blyth, is now getting his Sutent on the NHS, raising hopes that he will be able to spend much more time with his family.

However, Mr and Mrs Potts decided to press ahead with the sale of their home, to raise money which will be set aside to pay for other life-prolonging drugs if its transpires that their son needs them in the future. The property is on the market and they are now spending their first new year in their new home, a miners' cottage just a few minutes away from Ken Jnr's house.

Yesterday Mr Potts Snr, who worked as a miner for 40 years, said: "When we first decided to sell the house it was to help our Ken, because at that time we believed he would have to buy his Sutent tablets forever. It was the only way we could help him and we have never had any regrets about doing it.

"Thanks to all the support and publicity, he is now getting the drug on the NHS, but we had started the process then and decided to carry on and move to Blyth so that we can be nearer to him. …

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