Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Husband's Cancer Was So Rare ... You'd Have More Chance of Winning the Lottery

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Husband's Cancer Was So Rare ... You'd Have More Chance of Winning the Lottery

Article excerpt

Byline: By DAVE ROBSON

WHEN Dave Greenwood started feeling stomach pains earlier this year, he put it down to indigestion - but within months, he had fallen victim to one of the world's rarest cancers.

Leiomeiosarcomas affect the smooth cells which make up involuntary muscles, such as the stomach, intestines and blood vessel walls.

They can start in one place but be very unpredictable, staying and growing in one place or spreading through the body.

And they are very rare. In the UK, it's believed only one in 100,000 people have them - about 640 in total.

In Dave's case, his sarcoma was in the form of a massive stomach tumour. It proved too big an obstacle to overcome and he died last month, aged just 53.

But inspired by his spirit, family and friends decided to hold a football match in his memory and donate the proceeds to Cancer Research.

And it went so well, it may become an annual reminder of a hugely popular man.

Dave's widow Nancy told the Gazette: "Apparently you've got more chance of winning the Lottery than getting a leiomeiosarcoma.

"They were treating him for ulcers at first but when they did an endoscopy in mid-March, it showed what seemed to be a massive ulcer and other small ones.

"It was actually a huge tumour the size of a football.

"When it collapsed at the end of April, he was losing a pint of blood a day."

It was a tragic turn of events for a couple who met 11 years ago in Redcar's Elgin's bar and had been married for six years.

The couple, of Thames Road, Redcar, have four children between them - Nancy has two daughters, Shelli, 31, and Luisa, 29, while Dave has two sons, Ryan and Craig.

Originally from Shipley near Bradford, Dave was a refrigeration engineer for supermarkets who enjoyed good company and a pint of beer.

And with Nancy, he shared the same sense of humour and outlook on life.

Nancy smiled: "We have friends ranging from teenagers to 80. We're the kind of people who never really grew up! …

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