A CANCER survivor is urging people to support an event held to raise funds for a charity which helps those affected by head and neck cancer.
Robertsbridge man Ron Bryans, who is known as Major, was diagnosed with mouth cancer seven years ago.
He said: “In 2006 I began to experience pain and unpleasant changes in my mouth which mystified my dentist and GP for several months.
“I was finally referred and diagnosed with mouth cancer.
“A tough seven week regime of daily radiotherapy and several rounds of chemotherapy followed.
“Seven years on I remain cancer-free, but the treatment has caused bone damage to my jaw, which has needed many disfiguring operations to remedy.
“As with many sufferers of head and neck cancer, my speech and swallowing have been severely affected, though in my case, porridge now slips down a treat, and most days the slurred words make me sound only moderately drunk.
“I was so lucky to have found Headstart right after my treatment finished.
“It is a support group started some years ago by specialist Macmillan nurses who realised how important it was for patients and their families and carers to have additional support outside of their treatment.
“Across Kent and Sussex, six meetings a year are held in which a wonderful family feeling is created, making the difficult times easier to bear.
“I have made many true friends there.”
Headstart also raises funds in order to buy specialist equipment for head and neck cancer treatment, which the NHS does not supply.
Major added: “I am thrilled that Robertsbridge neighbour, Jess Child, is putting on An Evening of Entertainment for Headstart.
“She has brought together an amazing line up of musicians, including Matt Cooper, the Smokin’ Mojo’s and Quantum Mist.
“All the artists are generously playing for free in support of Headstart.
“Come and hear them this Saturday August 24 between 4–11pm in the Robertsbridge Club, Station Road.
“Tickets are just £5 children are free.”
For more information about Headstart, visit www.headstartcancersupport.org.uk