Nathan Hill, former Christie patient
Nathan said he first realised something was wrong after he had a pain in his leg in January 2011 while he was playing football. Over the next few months, he went to get it seen to a few times, and was on and off crutches for the pain.
In May 2011, the pain had become severe, and Nathan noticed a lump on the side of his knee. He went to A&E at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, where he was admitted as an inpatient due to an infection and a high temperature. After 5 days, Nathan got the difficult news that he had Ewing Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer.
Nathan was referred to The Christie for treatment for the Ewing Sarcoma. He said he didn’t know anything about the cancer at the time as it was so rare. He got lots of good information about Ewing Sarcoma but preferred not to read it – his girlfriend (now his wife) became the expert instead.
Dr McCabe, Nathan’s consultant at The Christie, started him on a course of chemotherapy. Nathan said this was tough – it started with 5 days in hospital and then around 2 weeks at home. In December 2011, Nathan needed an above-knee amputation. Although this was obviously a challenging thing to deal with, Nathan said he coped with it well, as it was needed to give him a chance of survival.
After this, Nathan received a stem cell transplant with his own stem cells. He had to go into isolation for this for just under 3 weeks.
Despite the challenging treatment regime and the isolation involved, Nathan said his care at The Christie was amazing and that the staff at the hospital couldn’t have done any more for him and his family. He said he will always remember every member of staff, and that Dr McCabe is a real-life superhero in his home.
Nowadays, Nathan is doing well. He works in programming for a fabrications company that produces commercial stainless-steel products. He has been married for 8 years and has a little boy, Stanley.
Stanley was an IVF baby after Nathan and his wife were told it would be very difficult to conceive naturally after his treatment – and Nathan describes him as ‘our absolute world’.
“I have recently had some tests on my kidneys as I have reduced kidney function and stage 1 kidney disease. I am kept very busy with my son and love the life I live. I do still have my worries and get anxiety sometimes as I don't think you're ever the same after going through a cancer battle, but I try not to let these drag me down.”
“The Christie is an amazing charity providing lifesaving care for very sick patients. You never think it will happen to you or your family and without the help and generosity of people, many people wouldn't be given the chance of survival they deserve.”
- Nathan Hill, former Christie patient
Although Nathan is now in remission, he still worries the Ewing Sarcoma will come back whenever he goes for a check-up. That’s why our scientists want to create a new blood test which could help diagnose recurrence of Ewing Sarcoma in patients who have already had it.
Your support now could mean more young patients with Ewing Sarcoma could benefit from a blood test that you helped us develop. Give today on our Ewing Sarcoma blood test campaign page.