Skin cancer patient’s thanks for care during drugs trials

Paul Copsey is a skin cancer a patient at Addenbrookes on cycle seven of a new drug, Pembrolizumab,

Paul Copsey is a skin cancer a patient at Addenbrookes on cycle seven of a new drug, Pembrolizumab, and has compiled 23 and 24 karat gold plated cutlery in wooden boxes handmade in Greece as prizes for a draw he is doing to raise awareness of the disease and to raise money for Norwich and Ipswich Big C's skin cancer teams and Addenbrookes Hospital. - Credit: Su Anderson

A Felixstowe cancer patient is raising cash and awareness to help fight the disease.

Addenbrooke’s patient Paul Copsey, 57, who is trailing a new drug, was diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 after having a spot checked on the advice of wife Debbie.

A keen footballer and county swimmer in his youth, he said: “In the summer I used to go to Broomhill open air pool and lie in the sun. It was my idea of perfection. I didn’t have any sun cream – never even thought about it. I was fit, tanned and happy.”

The spot was removed but the cancer returned and was confirmed as stage three melanoma by Ipswich Hospital consultant Marc Moncrieff.

When things deteriorated, Mr Copsey was recommended Addenbrooke’s and put on two drug trials in three months, but with no positive results.

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This August, thanks to the work of doctors Pippa Corrie and Christine Parkinson, he was put on American drug Pembrolizumab, which showed positive signs by October.

“I don’t know exactly how I will be, or if I will achieve a long life, but I do know that the team which have worked for me as an NHS patient could not have done more,” he said.

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Mr Copsey, who still works in ports and logistics, is now urging others to protect their skin from sun damage, reducing the risk of melanoma. He is also raffling three 70-piece gold-plated stainless steel cutlery sets in handcrafted boxes worth about £1,000 to raise money for the Skin Cancer Research Fund and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. He has raised £600 from strips of tickets, which are £2 from Mr Copsey on 01394 279714. The draw is tomorrow.

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