Community rallies to raise ‘amazing’ £131,000 to support Billy Lee of Wisbech St Mary who was diagnosed with bone cancer a year ago
PUBLISHED: 12:58 13 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:58 13 November 2015
The family of 20-year-old cancer victim Billy Lee described the £131,000 raised in the past year to support him as “an amazing total”.
Well wishers in their thousands rallied to support the “Let’s Get Billy Back on his Two Feet” campaign to pay for a state of the art prosethic leg.
Billy was diagnosed with bone cancer, a 10 cm synovial sarcoma aggressive tumour in the top of his right femur on November 14 last year, 15 days before his 20th birthday.
As events unfolded doctors only chance to save him was to have a full leg and half hip amputation.
His family said on the campaign’s social media page that “we still have to pay for Billy’s leg as he is on a trial at present but funds are £131,000
“Amazing; thank you everyone. This will cover maintenance and leg costs for a good 15 years.”
They added: “Following the removal of cancerous lumps in Billy’s left lung some weeks ago, this week we were told the operation was a success and a full body CT was all clear.
“Another six rounds of chemo have started just to be safe.
“This time last year we heard the worst news ever on Friday; today we are chuffed to bits with his results, he has come so far and done so well.
“This year not only can we have a Christmas but it’s going to be a brilliant one.”
Billy said: “Thanks for everyone’s continued interest and support and we wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that has made it possible for me to walk back on my own two feet.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without all the fundraising and everyone coming together to help raise money for me. I can’t tell you all how grateful I am; it really means so much, thank you everyone,
“I finally have my leg and can get my life back on track.”
Billy spent two days at an orthopaedic clinic in Dorset where the artificial limb was fitted.
The appeal launched at the beginning of the year and raised, within eight weeks, the £70,000 needed for the prosthetic leg.
The family said the NHS was unable to fund a prosthetic limb for an amputation of this kind.
They researched prosthetic limbs and eventually found a clinic “able to give Billy his life back again.” The ‘Helix 3D’ leg and hip prosthetic cost £70,000 with five yearly servicing and part replacements each time costing £18,500.
His dad Spencer said earlier this year: “Behind closed doors, Billy has had to come to terms with not having a leg. It’s a lot for a young man to have to go through.
“There are ups and downs, so we take every day as it comes.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.