Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dad's Lasting Legacy Will Help Others Recover from Disease

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dad's Lasting Legacy Will Help Others Recover from Disease

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@reachplc.co.uk

A DAD diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer a fortnight after his son's birth has died two months after launching a last ditch fundraising campaign to pay for treatment.

Bartosz Balczerski was devastated when, after welcoming their second son Henry into the world, he and his wife Rebecca were told that all the NHS could offer him was palliative care, "to give him as much time as possible with his family".

The 38-year-old scientist, from Chester-le-Street, said he was "not ready to give up yet" and launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for treatment not approved on the NHS.

But Bartosz's wife Rebecca has confirmed that he passed away on February 29 - just six months after his diagnosis.

The PS35,000 raised by friends and wellwishers will now be split between St Cuthbert's Hospice, Durham, and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Rebecca posted on the GOFUNDME page: "The response that we've had to this fundraising campaign has been overwhelming, and I'd like to say thank you.

"When I think that Bartek spent the last weeks of his life witnessing the fundraising efforts made on his behalf and reading all your wonderful messages of support there are no words that properly express the gratitude I feel.

"When I think ahead a few years to when our boys are able to ask for more information about their Daddy and his illness it brings me a great deal of comfort to think that I will be able to tell them about the warmth and generosity of everyone who knew us, and the kindness of strangers.

"This campaign gave Bartek purpose and hope for the future during the last months of his life.

"I sincerely believe that this carried him through some of the toughest times. His positivity and his strength have been an inspiration to us all. He fought hard to stay with us, but it was never a fair fight."

Bartosz, who was working on a new breast cancer screening technology at Kromek in Sedgefield, told The Chronicle in January: "Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst ones you can get. …

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