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Kimberley Walsh Makes Plea to Help Friend Mark Nurthen with Lung Cancer

A terminally ill father-of-two, who is a childhood friend of former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh, has made a heartfelt plea as he tries to raise thousands of pounds for cancer treatment.
Thirty-eight-year-old Mark Nurthen, from Utley, West Yorkshire, was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2011. He had his right lung removed in July that year and managed to return to his job as a sales manager eight weeks later when he was given the all clear.

However, despite having gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer returned in his remaining lung a year later. Mark, who is a dad to Ava, nine, and seven-year-old Daisy, said the diagnosis made him feel 'like I had died.'
'It's basically a nightmare. You wake up every morning and it's like Groundhog Day,' he said. 'It's not the best to be honest with you.'
Part of Mark's left lung has collapsed twice so the only option left is a drug called Nivolumab, a revolutionary immune therapy treatment that is twice as effective as chemotherapy.
But the National Institute for Health Care and Clinical Excellence said they will not fund the treatment as it is not 'considered a cost effective use of NHS resources'.
However, a pharmaceutical company called Bristol-Myers Squibb have been doing clinical trials with the medication and are seeing results.
Each round of treatment costs £8,000 and it is unclear how many rounds Mark will need.
'Getting the cancer was just bad luck,' he told FEMAIL. 'I've never tried cigarettes and it's not linked to smoking.
'When my family found out that the cancer had returned they were devastated. It is a very rare cancer and the only treatment option available is the drug I am raising money to fund.'
Mark, who has stage four cancer, has not been told how long he has left to live and is trying to prolong his life to see his daughters grow up: 'It's a slow growing cancer. The NHS won't fund the Nivolumab treatment because it is too expensive.'
In order to raise money for the treatment Mark and his family have set up a funding page and are raising awareness through his celebrity friend, Kimberley Walsh.
The pair grew up on the same estate in Bradford and have remained close since.
He said: 'She's a lifelong friend. How supportive have she been? Amazing. She has donated money but the amount is private.'
He added: 'Cheryl Fernandez Versini and Denise Van Outen have offered support. Also Nicola Roberts, Amir Khan and Talksport Radio have donated and tweeted my fundraising page.'
With help from his showbiz pals, Mark raised over £20,000 in just a few days. He admits he has been surprised by all of the support: 'I can't thank people enough. I'm totally shocked by people's generosity.'
Kimberley Walsh told ITV: 'If there is anything at all that could keep Mark here for a few more years, with his two daughters, he has to have it.
'How can you tell somebody there is something out there that could actually help them, could prolong their life, could potentially shrink a tumour by a considerable amount and not give them it?'
She added: 'I am so grateful and overwhelmed by everybody's generosity. I hope we can keep it going because there's still along way to go.'


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