A man whose relationship collapsed after he was misdiagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease was told he is actually suffering – terminal cancer.
Tony Stevens and his partner Trisha split up after doctors said an STD virus was the cause of his night sweats and weight loss.
It meant she thought that he had been cheating on her so walked out – but the truth was even more devastating.
Months later, Tony was told he actually had a very rare form of cancer called nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma – and only had five years to live.
The pair reconciled after his diagnosis and are attempting to tackle the uncertain future together.
They are also hoping to raise £4,000 buy a specialised pneumatic pump to ease the swelling in Tony’s legs and stimulate the flow of lymph.
The dad-of-seven, from Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts., said: “She obviously thought I was up to something. They told me I had a sexually transmitted disease.
“It has been a tough long road. I felt alone I didn’t know where to turn.
“[But] my partner understood when I got my diagnosis. Since then things have spun round.”
Former construction company driver Tony was rushed to hospital a month after being told he the bad news to have some of the nodes in his groin removed.
An infection followed and fluid built up, meaning he was rushed in for an operation – and told he had lymphoedema.
He then had to undergo radiotherapy at another facility and is now on end of life care.
This means he has to have a scan every three months to keep an eye on his condition.
Tony said: “I’m at a high risk of getting more infections so they’re keeping an eye on that. I’m under palliative care now.
“I’m on benefits because I can’t work and my partner looks after me.
“It has just been a struggle dealing with it all and dealing with every day life. So I’m raising money to get a pump so I can move around more and help around the house.”
The couple have since used GoFundMe to launch a fundraising campaign.
They hope to raise £4,000 to buy a specialised pneumatic pump to ease the swelling in his legs and stimulate the flow of lymph.
This sum could make a huge difference to Tony’s life as he currently relies on using compression socks and wraps to help the circulation.
Any extra money is raised will be used to take the children on holiday – who have struggled in the wake of his diagnosis.
Tony added: “It’s been very tough we have been stuck inside not able to go out with the kids.
“I would love to just take them away to get away from it all. They’re constantly surrounded by the situation.”