An Afghan war veteran turned politics lecturer discovered he had a brain tumour after throwing all his wife’s socks in the bin.
James Flint, then aged 29, assumed he had been sleep-walking when he got rid of all his then girlfriend’s socks in March 2015, and then the next day took a three-hour drive with no recollection of what he’d done.
One month later Nicola found James at home having a seizure and rushed him to hospital where doctors found a 5.7cm tumour in his right frontal lobe.
He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy – even having to have chemo during his wedding in Malta in 2016, reports PlymouthLive.
The tumour returned and was removed in March this year.
James, who served with The Rifles, as part of 3 Commando Brigade on Operation Herrick 9 in Afghanistan, is now fundraising for immunotherapy to keep him alive.
Nicola said: “This time around hasn’t all been plain sailing though.”
James with wife Nicola
“Post-surgery James lost use of his left side, thankfully significantly recovered, and the pathology results show that the cancer has advanced to a Grade 4 Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive type of brain cancer.
“The news has been devastating to us. Glioblastoma has a shocking prognosis, with the average survival from first diagnosis being just 12-15 months.
“As James received radiotherapy back in 2015, it is no longer a viable treatment option for him without the risk of significant harm. Alarmingly, the April post-op MRI has revealed regrowth already.”
James served with The Rifles, as part of 3 Commando Brigade on Operation Herrick 9
On the GoFundMe page, Nicola wrote: “We cannot believe what we are facing, and the recent Covid lockdown has made things even harder to process.
“My James is witty, intelligent, kind-hearted and fiercely loyal.
“He is a veteran of Afghanistan, serving with The Rifles, as part of 3 Commando Brigade (on Operation Herrick 9), and an accomplished associate lecturer in International Relations and Politics at the University of Plymouth.”
James with his wife Nicola (Image: eyJpdiI6IkkrMnE1cEIwaml3VkwzSE1o)
She added: “We are at the start of our married lives and careers, but instead we are seeking every possible treatment option we can.
“When James was first diagnosed he told me that the two important things on his bucket-list were to make me happy and to complete his PhD.
“He has achieved both of those things, but at just 34 years old he has so much more to give and to live for.”
James is currently receiving chemotherapy every month, but Glioblastoma is resistant to such treatments.
James Flint in hospital
“He is also undertaking private treatment protocols, including supplements and repurposed drugs which are thought to disrupt the metabolic makeup of the cancer cells, which we access through the Care Oncology Clinic in London,” Nicola, who has named the tumours Kenneth, added.
“We are now seeking immunotherapy treatment options to keep James alive and well for as long as we can. As this treatment isn’t currently approved by NICE in the UK, we will have to fund the treatment ourselves, and travel to Germany regularly.
“We hope to have tumour sequencing analysis carried out at the CeGaT clinic in Tuebingen, with a personalised treatment created which will hopefully give James a better chance in any rematch with Kenneth III.
“A second line of treatment, provided by IOZK (again in Germany) is DCVax (Dendritic Cell Vaccine). Early indications show these treatments to hold fantastic promise for extending survival rates.”
All donations will be used to go toward the cost of treatment to help prolong James’ life and if there is any money left over, it will be donated to Brain Tumour Research.
So far, £12,303 has been raised out of a £55,000 target. You can donate to the cause, here.