Chichester dad has months left to live after cancer diagnosis - now his family need help covering funeral costs
A Chichester dad, who has only months to live with cancer, is looking for financial support from the community so his funeral costs don't fall on his family.
Father-of-seven Russell Wood, 59, was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer last year. It is a type of tumour that develops in connective tissue, such as bone, cartilage or muscle.
Tanya Wood, 31, said her husband's first symptom was a lump in the groin area but his condition was initially misdiagnosed as a torn ligament and was told by doctors that he had nothing to worry about.
"Then Covid happened, whilst this lump got bigger and bigger," Tanya said.
"We had a video call with the doctor, who then rushed it through. Within a couple of months, we found out he had cancer."
Russell had radiotherapy treatment every day for six weeks, whilst his wife was heavily pregnant with their second baby — his seventh child in total.
Tanya added: "We got the all clear in March.
"We thought all our dreams came true with what we thought was a life ahead of us and a little girl and a newborn little boy."
However, Russell, who was still being checked every three months, had a CT scan cancelled during the pandemic.
He then woke up one morning and 'could hardly breathe'.
Tanya said: "He was shaking and soaking wet with sweat. They thought it was a chest infection but they found the cancer had spread to his lungs."
Russell now has under a year to live.
"There's nothing they can do," Tanya said.
"We are doing alright as a family, we are a close network.
"His little girl, whose three, is absolutely dadified. To our two children, he's their best friend.
"We are trying to keep as much away from the kids as possible but also telling them. One day, they are going to wake up and sadly he's not going to be there."
The family is now appealing for financial support from the public.
On her GoFundMe page, Tanya wrote: "He has no funeral plan and now sadly doesn't have the time to get one.
"We are trying to raise funds as he doesn't want the funeral costs to fall on us.
"[We need] family and friends to support us in the future when the time comes to lay my wonderful caring husband and loving father to rest in peace.
"We just want to enjoy the time we have as a family.
"So however little, please help me and my family give our hero, our best friend, the send off, when the time comes, he deserves. We truly love him so much."
Tanya said 'life is pretty rough' for the family but they are trying to make every day 'as fun as we can'.
"He [Russell] is really trying but it's quite hard," she added. "Chemo makes him sick for a week.
"Our ten years together have been tough as we lost a baby ourselves and I lost my dad to lung cancer.
"We've never been on a proper holiday together. We are trying to have a family holiday in the UK.
"There's other tasks that he wants to reach. He wants to get out fishing.
"We are trying to do as much as we can as a family."
Tanya said her husband always dreamed of having a son.
She said: "He waited 31 years for a boy. Our last baby was a boy, so he got his wish.
"He's got everything that he's wanted after all these years and it's taken away.
"He wanted to keep his hair for his son's christening but our little three-year-old helped him shave it off afterwards
"He's a very happy-go-lucky bloke.
"I am so very proud to call him my husband and best friend.
"I just don't know what life is going to be like."