Brendon’s Story

Brendon with wife Steph, and their beautiful children Ollie & Charlotte


My name is Brendon Vere, I am 41, married and have two kids who I want to live as long as I can for.

In 2020 my doctor referred me for a colonoscopy due to bowel issues. At the time the country was put in lockdown due to Covid and my colonoscopy was put off a few times before I was finally seen. This led to a diagnosis of bowel cancer, a tumour we nick named Horace was growing in the lower bowel.

After some more tests and scans it was found the delay in finding Horace meant the cancer had spread to the liver, so began the long hard journey of treatment to try and wipe out the cancer. Radiation and oral chemo were first, 5 weeks of daily doses of radiation, then onto 6 months of intravenous chemotherapy, all while continuing my daily job as a truck driver.

Scans at this point showed things were progressing well so it was on to the operating table where they removed about 80% of my liver along with the 13 tumors that had made themselves at home in there. After a little recovery time it was back to the operating table to remove 40cm of lower bowel and my rectum.

I was given an ileostomy and did my business into a bag for 6 months, a reconnection of the bowel followed this and the belief that cancer had been wiped from my body was shared by myself and the oncology team.

By this stage it was late 2021, I was sent for a follow up scan and the news was not good. 20 tumors of various sizes were found back in the liver and up into the lungs. This time my oncology team told me sadly there was nothing that could be done to fight the cancer, palliative care was offered and told at most I might last 9-12 months. I was gutted, my family were gutted, I couldn’t accept this!

With the encouragement and support of some amazing people a small glimmer of hope was found in a drug called Cetuximab, an immunotherapy treatment that was not offered in the public system as it is not funded through Pharmac – so we fundraised and I drained my life savings to come up with enough money for a course of the treatment.

What a wonderful and amazing result I got, tumours in the lungs completely disappeared and the tumors in the liver started shrinking and many even disappeared. As at this stage I have well passed the 9-12 months and the belief that I could last many years is held high by my oncologist, and myself.

Sadly though this will only happen if I can keep the treatment going, but the funds raised have dried up, so the search for further funding has become desperate. A Givealittle page has been set up, and I am now forcing myself to continue working each day just to try and fund a treatment that will give me more time with my wife and kids.

I hope that one day this drug will be funded if not for me then for the many other people that it could and will help.

*Shared by Brendon in January 2023