Terminally-ill Leeds dad inspires £5.5m fundraising drive for charity

A terminally-ill dad-of-two with advanced prostate cancer has inspired his employer to launch a multi-million pound fundraising drive to pay for more research into the 'silent killer'.

Lloyd Pinder was 44 when he was given the devastating diagnosis in 2016 that he had a severe form of prostate cancer which could not be cured.

Until that point he had had no symptoms - only going to the doctors when he saw blood in his semen. But by then it was too late.

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He said: "Obviously being 44, with two young kids - I had a seven year old and a three year old then - you're just thinking about them. That was tough. But I have dealt with it head on. And just hope that there's going to be something around the corner. You just have to hope and pray."

Lloyd Pinder, who has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, with his wife Tina and daughters Gracie, 11, and Lola, seven.

He added: "I knew I couldn’t just sit around waiting to be a statistic."

His employers, Yeadon-based Club Insure, have launched a three-year partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and set themselves the target of raising £5.5m to help the charity's work in trying to stop men dying of the disease.

The business insures over 4,000 working men's clubs and social clubs across the UK - whose male customers are the charity's target demographic - and hopes to recruit the venues to fundraise themselves.

Club Insure will also raise awareness of prostate cancer among their clients - aiming to reach an estimated 1.75m over the three years - and will donate £5 per new or renewed policy.

Lloyd Pinder, who has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, with his wife Tina and daughter Gracie, 11, and Lola, seven.

Lloyd said: "The deal that work have done with Prostate Cancer, provided we get the support from our clients, will be phenomenal financially for the charity."

And while there remains hope that new research or trials will help Lloyd to prolong his life and the time he can spend with daughters Gracie, 11, and Lola, seven, he admits the chances of him benefiting from the fundraising might be slim.

"It maybe sadly is for the next generation. Unfortunately I think I have been born in the wrong year or two, to benefit. But it's not all about me, it's all about the next generation. The sons of my friends who are in their teens and raising awareness for them too."

After undergoing different treatments including hormone therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Lloyd is currently receiving Radium 223 which targets the cancer in his bones.

Lloyd with his wife Tina and daughters Gracie, 11, and Lola, seven.

He said: "Four years on we are at the point where there's not really any other treatments left. This is the last one. After that, who knows.

"It's really the last treatment that's available to me unless something comes out in the next few weeks or months. It's sort of a last chance saloon really. But you have to keep on fighting."

Medics at St James' Hospital have recently discovered his bone markers have reduced, which means the treatment is working and slowing down the cancer - a finding he said was unexpected but "great news", adding: "I've really got to get through the summer and start talking to the research teams at University College London or [The Royal] Marsden to see if there are upcoming trials."

But now, with the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the UK, Lloyd is currently in isolation in a bedroom at his home in South Milford because of his high-risk status - unable to hold his girls or help his wife.

"We have an ensuite so I'm pretty self-sufficient. My daughters will wave and I can hear them, playing.

"It's disappointing that I can't engage with them or help my wife but it is what it is.

"It's almost like my life expectancy has been brought forward and now this. It's not ideal.

"This is what life throws at you - it's how you deal with it and come out the other side."

Lloyd remains determined to beat the odds and help other men diagnosed with prostate cancer enjoy life for as long as possible as well as raising funds and much-needed awareness of the disease which kills one man every 45 minutes.

Since his diagnosis he has done a lot for charity, taking part in Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling's march in 2016, raising £6,000. He also organised a ball for Prostate Cancer UK, raising £10,000 and joined the Leeds March for Men at Roundhay Park for the men's health charity.

Lloyd said: "I know from my own experience how much charities like Prostate Cancer UK need money to fund research into new treatments. For me now, finding a new treatment is vital in giving me more time with my family.

“The whole team at Club Insure have been incredibly supportive from the beginning and I’m very lucky to have the backing of a boss who understands what I’m going through and is willing to dedicate his time and his business to helping me stretch my five-to-ten-year prognosis so my young daughters won’t grow up without a father.”

His boss, Club Insure CEO Justin Romero-Trigo, has been Lloyd's friend for 24 years and was the person who pushed Lloyd to go back to his doctors to get more tests.

Justin, whose grandfather died from prostate cancer, told the YEP it was a "massive shock" when Lloyd was diagnosed.

He said: "You immediately start thinking about his children. You can imagine the news just turned his life upside down completely. I was amazed, being young as well. It's aggressive which is even worse for him. In older generations, you can live with it for a number of years but when you're younger it's even quicker.

"We just want to get out there and push it forward for prostate cancer - and let everyone know as well that it's not just an old man's disease. It's the most common cancer in men."

Even though WMCs and social clubs are all closed now because of the coronavirus lockdown, Justin said he hopes to still achieve their £5.5m ambition when the nation is back up and running.

"At the end of the day I think charity outlasts everything. I think in times of need, people don't stop caring," he said.

Angela Culhane, chief executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Stories like Lloyd’s are what drive us forward in our work at Prostate Cancer UK - we want to be doing all that we can to allow men to have more time with their families and friends. We have been truly inspired by the work that Lloyd has done to raise awareness of the disease and are thrilled that Club Insure are supporting Prostate Cancer UK with this new partnership.

“The stats for prostate cancer are shocking – the fact that more than 11,500 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year is something we need to change. With the help of supporters like Club Insure, we are able to raise not only vital funds for research into better diagnosis tools and better treatments, to help men like Lloyd to have more time with the people they love, but also to raise more awareness about prostate cancer. For this, we are incredibly grateful.”

To direct to Club Insure's appeal for Prostate Cancer UK visit https://donate.prostatecanceruk.org/single-donation/step1/?appealid=23CLUZ00To get involved with fundraising visit: https://prostatecanceruk.org/clubinsure

Factfile:

Across the UK:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's 129 men every day.

Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 11,500 men every year.

1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

Source: Prostate Cancer UK