Dad-of-three with inoperable brain tumours getting by on 'dark humour and bad jokes'

A fitness fanatic given the devastating news that he has inoperable brain tumours and must raise £100,000 for treatment says he is getting by on dark humour and bad jokes.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:43 pm

Gym regular Chris Laycock could have just 12 months to live, but is choosing to make light of his diagnosis, even naming his tumours Bill and Ted from the 1980s movie because he says he is being taken on an 'Excellent Adventure'.

However, there is a hope that if he can raise the six-figure sum, he can receive revolutionary new treatment in Germany that is not available on the NHS but that could prolong or even save his life.

His partner Jo Booth said: "You either laugh or cry, and we'd rather get through it with dark humour and bad jokes.

Chris with his sister Kate (left) and partner Jo.

"We can't stand the head tilts with people who don't know what to say.

"We know it's coming from a good place but we want people making jokes."

Originally from Ossett, the father-of-three was "in the best shape of his life" and competed in gym competitions before being given the devastating news two months ago.

Before that, he began showing symptoms that he and Jo thought were simply down to his Covid-19 injection.

Chris with his mum and dad, Martin and Jenny.

As his condition deteriorated, a scan eventually showed that he has two brain tumours, one of which is an aggressive stage-4 glioblastoma that continues to grow rapidly.

It also means it is less responsive to regular treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which is already undergoing, and dramatically reduces 44-year-old Chris' life expectancy.

But after conducting their own research, and speaking with a top oncologist in London, Chris and Jo were directed towards a clinic in Germany that specialises in immuno-oncological therapy - a new treatment that strengthens the immune system.

Jo said: "It could be life extending but there are people who have undergone this and are disease free.

Jo and Chris with his 11-year-old son Arran.

"The doctors keep talking about life expectancy but we are really belligerent.

"The oncologist in London who said that Chris is getting the gold-star treatment, but said there was treatment in Germany but it would be £100,000.

"Chris had the most aggressive type of tumour possible, so what have we got to lose?"

Chris, who attended Ossett Comprehensive, but now lives in Lancashire and runs a flooring company, started developing symptoms earlier this year, including a dead-arm feeling often associated with the Covid jab.

But it then spread to his leg, he began to struggle to grasp words and his depth perception was affected.

Jo said: "We were not that worried at that point, but we knew something was not right.

"We went to a neurologist who said he was presenting signs of MS (multiple sclerosis) but it was coming on too quickly.

"We went for an MRI scan and they told us we might not hear back for a week, but we'd only just got through the front door at home after coming from the hospital when they rang and said Chris had serious inflammation of the brain.

"He had another more in-depth scan, and the neurologist said there was no easy way to say it, but Chris had two brain tumours.

"He began talking about life expectancy and were we were just shell shocked."

Initially told he had 18 months to live, which rose to two to five years, but has since been told it's a maximum of four years.

However, it could be as little as 12 months because of the aggressive nature of the bigger tumour, which if already affecting his speech and movement.

Such is Chris' popularity, more than £37,000 has been raised in less than two days on a Go Fund Me page.

Is it hoped that if they reach the magic six-figure target, Chris can travel to Germany before the end of the year to begin treatment.

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