Stevenage family appeal to save dad’s life so he can see his young children grow up

PUBLISHED: 08:30 13 March 2020

Billie-Jean and Deon Joubert pictured here with their children Robyn and Bear. Picture: Courtesy of Laura Van De Merwe

Billie-Jean and Deon Joubert pictured here with their children Robyn and Bear. Picture: Courtesy of Laura Van De Merwe

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The Stevenage family of a man currently fighting for his life are desperately appealing for help so he can watch his two young children grow up.

Deon Joubert has stage four lung cancer and time is rapidly running out to save his life.

The 32-year-old's heartbreaking journey began when he had a lump removed from his neck two years ago, and tumours were later discovered in his brain and lungs.

Deon agreed to a clinical trial involving immunotherapy, and the brain tumour subsequently disappeared, but the drug had no effect on the cancer in his lungs.

Deon is brother-in-law to Laura and Pierre Van De Merwe, who live in Stevenage - Pierre is deputy headteacher at the town's Larwood School. Laura said: 'Deon's deteriorating quite quickly now. He's in a lot of pain and on morphine.

'Because he had a trial, medical aid won't cover the full cost of the secondary treatment.

'Deon's oncologist feels this treatment will make a massive difference and possibly save his life, but it will cost about £100,000.

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'It's an absolute nightmare. Deon was made redundant just before Christmas. We have been supporting them as much as we can, but the only option now is to fundraise the money needed.

'Every day that goes by the tumours in his lungs are growing and his chances of survival are getting less.'

Deon and Billie-Jean, who live in South Africa, have been childhood sweethearts since they were 15.

Their first child, Bear, was born via IVF after 10 years of trying to conceive naturally. Bear, now three, has a one-year-old sister Robyn.

Laura said: 'Billie-Jean and Deon are truly soulmates. They are always so positive, strong and brave - an absolute inspiration.

'Please help save Deon, so my sister doesn't lose her soulmate and their babies still have their dad. Please help them to make a miracle happen.

'We thank you for any support. No matter how small, every penny counts.'

So far, £2,000 has been raised. Billie-Jean said: 'From all four of us, a massive thank you for your very generous donations towards Deon's treatment. It really is so wonderful of you and means so much to us as a family.'

To make a donation, visit gofundme.com/f/young-father-fighting-lung-cancer-in-south-africa

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