THE Bassendean community has come together to help resident Noel Jess seek treatment in the United States for a rare type of bowel cancer after he was listed for palliative care.
Mr Jess (48), who has been living in Bassendean for almost 40 years, was diagnosed with stage 4 small intestinal bowel cancer in November 2016.
After doing 10 rounds of chemotherapy and unsuccessful medication, the cancer spread to his liver and he lost the nerve endings in his fingers and feet.
Mr Jess said he was hopeful when he found an 18-month trial at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
“I passed the initial criteria, tests and interview and associate professor of oncology Robert McWilliams said it was highly likely that I would be accepted for the trial,” he said.
The community launched a GoFundMe page, which raised more than $23,000 in two weeks and about 40 people helped with renovating Mr Jess’ Bassendean home of 30 years, which is currently up for sale.
Last week, the family of four moved from Bassendean to a smaller apartment in East Perth to fund the trial. Mr Jess said he was “blown away” by the support.
“The sweetest part about it is all the friends we made across the years are coming out of the woodwork to share the page. It is really touching when you see a name you have not seen in 20 years pop up and donating money,” he said.
Mr Jess, who left Perth on Saturday, said he and his wife would celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in Honolulu, Hawaii before going to Minnesota.
“When we came back from America last July we did not know that I was sick, and we booked our anniversary trip there, which is where we had our honeymoon 25 years ago,” he said.
“So when we found out (about the cancer) in November, we did not know we were going to make it.”
Mr Jess said the average person in stage 4 had four months to live but he was “optimistic”.