Eastmoor community rallies to help Craig’s fight with cancer

Picture of Craig Hodgson who has cancer and needs a special injection to boost his stem cells so he can take a high dose of chemo. They are not sure whether the NHS will pay for it so the Eastmoor community has started fundraising for �10,000. Also a pictured with his mum Carol Mathery.
Picture of Craig Hodgson who has cancer and needs a special injection to boost his stem cells so he can take a high dose of chemo. They are not sure whether the NHS will pay for it so the Eastmoor community has started fundraising for �10,000. Also a pictured with his mum Carol Mathery.
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A COMMUNITY has been inspired to raise money for a hospital ward which has helped Craig Hodgson with his battle against cancer.

Mr Hodgson of Eastmoor was diagnosed with testicular cancer last August and despite early treatment, the tumour spread.

Now the 22-year-old needs an aggressive form of chemotherapy, but doctors at St James’ Hospital in Leeds have told him his body will not be able to cope with the treatment, due to a lack of stem cells.

A rare drug called Plerixafor is available to help his body produce more cells, but it is usually used for blood cancer patients.

His family were originally warned that they may have to raise £10,000 if the NHS did not fund the treatment.

But yesterday they were told he was a “priority” and he would not have to pay for it.

Groups have already rallied round to stump up the cash and will now give any money to the teenage cancer unit at the hospital.

Mr Hodgson said: “I didn’t expect any of this and it is quite impressive to think people care that much.

“It was heartbreaking when I was told I had cancer and it has been really hard over the past few months.”

Mr Hodgson used to play for Eastmoor Dragons rugby league team and fans are to play a charity match against a ‘legends’ side on Easter Sunday.

The former City Academy pupil now works as an assistant caretaker at the school and staff, pupils and parents have raised money.

They are offering people their money back now it is not needed for Mr Hodgson’s treatment.

Friends of the family have set up Cash 4 Craig and will hold a pie and pea supper at the Butcher’s Arms on April 16 and a bag pack at Sainsbury’s in Trinity Walk on Good Friday.

There will be a bucket collection on Westgate from 6pm tomorrow, followed by a charity night at Mustang Sallys from 10.30pm to include raffle, auction and a sponsored leg wax.