A Yapton father whose four-week headache turned out to be incurable brain cancer said he felt his life had been ‘ripped away’ from him.
Ross Dinmore had been enjoying spending more time with his four-year-old daughter Ella since leaving his job as a delivery driver at a fish company earlier this year, so that his wife Leah could take up her dream job in mental health.
The 45-year-old, who also has two step-sons Luke, 13, and Daniel, 17, developed a headache which returned everyday for four weeks – sometimes lasting 17 hours at a time.
“It was like someone had hit me on the head with a sledgehammer,” said Ross, who took painkillers daily and went to the GP, but otherwise tried to continue life as normal.
His symptoms worsened and eventually Leah insisted he go to A&E on the evening of May 31, his birthday.
To his shock, an MRI scan revealed a tumour in his brain and just three days later Ross underwent a five-hour operation at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
The operation went well, but a histology report confirmed that he had stage four incurable glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Ross was given between 12 and 18 months to live.
He said: “I never thought in a million years this would happen.
“That’s the hardest part for me – understanding how I got from a headache to here.
“I’ve always been fit and healthy.
“A headache has ripped my life away from me.”
Ross has been undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy for several weeks.
To his consultant’s surprise, he said he has had no side effects and feels ‘ten times better’ since having the operation – making his diagnosis all the more difficult to process.
“I don’t feel like I’ve got what they say I’ve got,” he said.
Ross is now determined to ‘try absolutely anything’ to help give him more time with his family and his daughter, who is due to start school in September and keeps trying to use her Peppa Pig toy medical kit to ‘make daddy feel better’.
He has set up a fundraising page to help pay for treatment which is not available on the NHS.
One of the options is a drug which was previously on a clinical trial called DCVax-L, which could cost £200,000, Ross said.
He said he knew it was a ‘big ask’, but said: “This is the first time I have done anything like this, asking public for help.
“But if this drug could save my life I’m prepared to do anything to not be taken away from my family or leave them in a world of pain.
“All I want is to see my kids grow up.
“And my wife, prior to this all we spoke about was growing old together, going down to Littlehampton beach together.”
Ross also wanted to raise awareness and warn anyone else suffering from a prolonged headache to seek help.
“Take yourself to the doctors and if it continues, to A&E,” he said. “If my wife hadn’t sent me down there, I might not be around now. That’s the scary thing.”
Leah said she had had a feeling that something serious could be wrong and encouraged others to act if they felt the same.
“If your gut is telling you something is not right, then you need to go and see someone,” she said.