A HEARTBROKEN Colley Gate mum is desperate to raise awareness about a genetic disorder and its links with cancer following the tragic death of her partner last month.
Devoted Fallon Waldron believes Dan Hemmings, aged 27, might still be here now if his rare cancer had been diagnosed earlier to give him a better chance of survival and see their three-year-old son grow up.
The security guard discovered a lump at the base of his back in November 2009, but it took two-and-a-half years for it to be diagnosed as sarcoma.
Miss Waldron, of Furlong Lane, believes the delay was due to medics failing to spot a link with a genetic disorder from which he suffered.
Mr Hemmings had neurofibramatosis type 1, or NF1, with one of the symptoms being benign fibroid tumours. It can lead to malignant tumours in later life.
The 24-year-old is doubly passionate about raising awareness of the disorder as their son Harry also has NF1 and has opened a Just Giving web page to raise money for neurofibramatosis charity the Neuro Foundation.
"It could have all been avoided if doctors had taken into account that Dan had NF1 but it was overlooked," she said, adding:
"More people need to be made aware of NF1 and what can incur. In our case it led to a devastating outcome.
“Although having this genetic disorder doesn't mean you will get cancer, it can cause tumours, some of which can become malignant.”
Mr Hemmings had started planning a charity event to raise money for Sarcoma UK before his death and, despite her grief, Miss Waldron is determined to press ahead with it.
The fundraising evening will be held at the Talbot Hotel, Stourbridge, on September 26.
She said: "Dan had already started organising the event and contacted loads of companies before he died.
“Since then, we've had a number of firms donate prizes and vouchers. It's something that I have to carry on, I have no choice. It's the spur that keeps me going.
"Some of his friends are also arranging a charity bike ride in his memory when they will travel from Halesowen to Perranporth in Cornwall.”
Mr Hemmings was forced to give up work two years ago because of his illness and the treatment he had to endure.
Miss Waldron said: “The chemotherapy treatment kept knocking him about. He grew a lump on his neck the size of a tennis ball which eventually caused a collapsed windpipe, which meant he had difficulty breathing.
"He was in hospital five times this year alone before finally passing away."
Donations can be made to www.justgiving.com/Fallon-Waldron for the Neuro Foundation or to www.justgiving.com/Dan-Hemmings, which he set up before his death, for Sarcoma UK.