Over £15,000 raised to help Commando’s cancer battle

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More than £15,000 has been raised for a Royal Marines Commando, from Louth, who is rebuilding his life after suffering a devastating brain tumour last year.

Andy Holdaway, 32, who is currently based in the Poole area, was staying over at a friend’s house on July 6 when, without any prior warning, his life was changed forever.

The average life expectancy for people who suffer from this illness is between 12 and 15 years, but I refuse to be that statistic - I refuse to die.

Andy Holdaway

Andy awoke at 6am and sat upright when he started having breathing difficulties, before slumping forward paralysed.

His wife, Nadia, raised the alarm and Andy was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with Grade 2 Oligodendroglioma.

The life-limiting tumour has put an end to Andy’s successful career in the Royal Marines, and has left him suffering from seizures, motor, sensory and emotional response difficulties, and speech difficulties.

The Royal Marines ‘downgraded’ him and will be helping Andy to recuperate through their rehabilitation facilities.

Andy, who is the son of the former long-serving Rector of Louth Stephen Holdaway, said: “The average life expectancy for people who suffer from this illness is between 12 and 15 years, but I refuse to be that statistic - I refuse to die.”

At the beginning of last month, Andy set up a fundraising page to help raise money to clear his family debts so that he can save, and contribute towards, a deposit for a home after he moved out of Royal Marine residences.

Incredibly, within just a matter of weeks, more than £15,600 has been raised.

Andy said: “It’s absolutely amazing - it’s really blown my mind and we’re both so grateful. This has made a massive difference to us.

“It has wiped away our personal debts, and the rest has gone towards building a deposit for a house - it is one less thing for us to worry about. It’s amazing how many people have selflessly helped to make such a huge difference.”

Andy added: “I’ve still got a long road to recovery, but I keep on improving.”

• Visit www.gofundme.com/Andysbraintumour to find out more about Andy’s story, and make a donation.