Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Everyone Has Been So Supportive, and It's Very Much Appreciated by Me and My Family; Freddie Fletcher Speaks of His Battle with Mesothelioma

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Everyone Has Been So Supportive, and It's Very Much Appreciated by Me and My Family; Freddie Fletcher Speaks of His Battle with Mesothelioma

Article excerpt

Byline: Freddie Fletcher

DEFIANT Freddie Fletcher today spoke of his two-month fight with asbestos-related cancer.

The 71-year-old, chief executive at St James' Park during the early 90s, was rushed to hospital after falling ill at his Darras Hall home at the beginning of April.

Medics carried out emergency surgery at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Now, just weeks after finishing his first bout of chemotherapy, the grandad-of-six has revealed how doctors allowed him to return home after undergoing the first stage of treatment to stave off the cancer.

Speaking for the first time since he was diagnosed with the illness, dad-of-three Freddie told how medics discovered the cancer after his lung collapsed.

And today - as he revealed his two-month ordeal - he vowed to fight the illness and said it would not stop him.

Freddie, who has three children, Alan, 42, Alastair, 41, and Judith Fourie, 37, said: "I've had my first chemotherapy and I'm just now trying to build up the strength for my next round of treatment.

"It's the first session I've had, but I need between four and six. It's to try to hold back the tumour.

"I found out about the cancer a couple of months ago. My lung collapsed and I rushed to hospital. They operated to remove the fluid and they took a biopsy. That's when they discovered the asbestosis, the cancer.

"I've no idea how I got it. It can stay in your body for 60 years and you never know about it.

"I could have picked it up from anywhere, in school as a wee boy in the west of Scotland or just kicking a football against a wall. I've got no idea where it's come from.

"I'm just trying to stay positive and trying to get strong enough for the chemotherapy. The reaction has been tremendous. Everyone has been so supportive and it's very much appreciated by me and my family.

"Everyone has been fantastic, from the Newcastle fans to my close friends. I just want to thank them for their support. …

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