SCORES of family and friends of a brave dad battling cancer made a splash to raise funds for alternative treatment they hope will save his life.
Dad-of-six Wilf Allen is fighting pancreatic cancer after being given three to six months to live after being diagnosed at the end of December.
Around 50 family and friends descended on the waves at Seaton Carew to raise money for innovative injections, which Wilf hopes could improve his health and even cure him.
Yesterday at 11am, more than 100 of Wilf’s relations and people who know him gathered at the beach before around half ran into the sea for a sponsored dip, which will pay for the alternative treatment from a specialist in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
It was an emotional day that saw four of Wilf’s daughters, twins Ruth Cain and Rita McNaughton, 38, Rachel Middleton, 32 and Laura Thomas, 29, wearing T-shirts saying “I Love My Dad”, along with scores of friends of relatives, brave the freezing water.
Wilf was at his home in Severn Close, Peterlee, with wife Ann, 61, and youngest daughter Jane Linden, 26, as he was recovering from nerve block pain relief treatment received at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital the night before.
But Ruth, who is married to Peter Cain, 44, said: “The turnout has been amazing.
“We were expecting about 50, but it looks twice as much – it made you want to go in even deeper. “It wasn’t just a case of running into the sea – it was a beautiful positive feeling.”
Wilf’s son Jon, 40, also gave his support and cheered on the dippers from the shoreline.
It was even more poignant for mum-of-four Ruth, as she suffers from Raynaud’s Disease, a condition that affects circulation, which she thought the cold sea would affect.
But she said the pure adrenaline helped her plough on.
Ruth added: “If dad had made it along he would probably have been crying.
“I think he would realise just how much he has affected other people’s lives – so many people love my dad.”
Wilf had to give up his job as a quality control manager for USG in Peterlee and is unable to afford the treatment on his benefits.
He has opted out of chemotherapy, which medics told him could extend his life by a further three to six months, due to side-effects on his quality of life.
Folk guitarist Wilf was given a glimmer of hope in January when his son-in-law, John Linden, told him about alternative treatment, bio-resonance and homeopathic treatments, which have shown positive results.
He has already had six days of injections to boost his immune system and target the cancer – but at a cost of £2,500.
He is also following a strict diet with homeopathic and herbal supplements to increase his chances of survival.
There is still time to donate, by visiting www.gofundme.com/27679s
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