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Bermudian’s cancer story goes viral in England

Sherwin Hall and La’Troya Wilkinson Caines (Image courtesy of ITV News)

A Bermudian father of two in Leeds, England, is fighting for his life after his cancer diagnosis was delayed because of the coronavirus.Sherwin Hall, 27, said he had been in pain for months, but could not get a scan until less than three weeks ago.La’Troya Wilkinson-Caines, Mr Hall’s girlfriend, said yesterday: “He’s trying to stay upbeat, but it’s difficult for him. “He just had his first round of chemo and we just had a baby 11 weeks ago.“He can’t even hold him for long. After a few minutes, he just has to let up.”Mr Hall began to suffer pain in his groin last September, but doctors at the time said he had likely injured himself at the gym and prescribed him painkillers.But by late January or early February the pain had worsened and doctors could not identify the cause.Ms Wilkinson-Caines said: “One evening in March, he went to the hospital after having done his own research and found something called prostatitis. Once he mentioned it to the doctors at A&E, they said that’s what it was and ran with it.”She said doctors continued to give Mr Hall antibiotics and painkillers to treat prostatitis, but the pain continued.They said Mr Hall went to the doctors repeatedly in March, April and May — including a total of 13 visits in May alone — complaining of pain and asking for scans.But they said he was told that because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the wait for scans would be between six weeks and two months.Ms Wilkinson-Caines said: “He knew something was wrong and he was asking for any sort of imagery.“Every day it was getting worse and worse.”He finally received a CT scan less than three weeks ago, doctors discovered a 14-centimetre tumour in his pelvis — and more than 30 smaller tumours in his lungs.Ms Wilkinson-Caines said they had initially been optimistic about the diagnosis, but biopsy results revealed the cancer to be a dangerous form of sarcoma.She said: “It’s very rare. It’s ridiculously rare. Only about 200 people in the world have it.“Almost everyone dies. The five-year survival rate is 18 per cent, but it’s difficult to rely on the statistics because so few people have had it.”Mr Hall and Ms Wilkinson-Caines launched an online GoFundMe campaign this month to help cover the cost of treatment.The campaign had raised just over £20,000 as of yesterday afternoon.Mr Hall said most of the funds have come from donors in England — many of whom are complete strangers.He said: “English people have given me so much love. It’s unbelievable.”His story was highlighted by multiple British news outlets, including the BBC, ITV, The Guardian and The Sun.While the campaign has a £55,000 goal for treatment, Mr Hall said his actual medical expenses could be even higher because of travel limitations related to his condition.He said: “I’ve been looking at different European countries to try to get the therapy, and it’s very expensive. “Some of them are looking for £80,000 to £100,000.”