Cancer sufferer's desperate plea to take a journey that might save his life

HOPING: Cancer sufferer Toney Fitzgerald is seeking funds to travel to the US for treatment. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0516jktoney1
HOPING: Cancer sufferer Toney Fitzgerald is seeking funds to travel to the US for treatment. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0516jktoney1

THE man who relaunched iconic Central West beer label Walkers Brewing Co back in 2016 is now turning to the people of Bathurst and Orange to ask for their help.

Toney Fitzgerald has been battling cancer which has been recurring since 2012.

He started with radiation therapy and chemotherapy over seven weeks.

When the cancer returned for a fourth time in 2017 he said he was told by doctors he had run out of treatment options.

“The doctors said there was ‘nothing more that we do so go away and die, sorry.”

However, Mr Fitzgerald is refusing to give up. He said since then he had been trialling his own treatments including taking medical cannabis.

“It is a radical protocol I have been adhering to,” he said. “It is self-administered medicine.”

Mr Fitzgerald said he had also begun researching stem cell therapy treatment available overseas but not in Australia.

“I’m trying to find a solution,” he said.

“I can’t swallow solid food, I’ve lost close to 46 kilograms. It is stable but what I’m trying to do now is eradicate it from my body.”

Mr Fitzgerald said his research had led him to the US, Mexico and Cuba where he said stem cell treatment was available.

“I can’t get access to any specialised treatment in Australia as it is just not available,” he said.

“They’re pretty much available anytime over there.

“Stem cell [treatment], there is a lot of evidence out there that stem cell works.”

To that end he has taken the unusual step of setting up a crowdfunding campaign to raise about $30,000 to get to the US for the testing and treatment.

“I need funding and I need now, financially I am very challenged,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said the funds would help cover getting DNA testing, medical cannabis advice, other advice plus flights, accommodation and other expenses.

He said he hoped he could return to Australia with knowledge and education about the treatment that could be available for others suffering from illness.

Mr Fitzgerald said his family had long ties to the Central West though he had lived away on the Gold Coast for some time.

“My family’s been in Orange for eight generations,” he said.

“I relocated back to Orange in December 2015 when I got the cancer. I wanted to be among friends.”

Mr Fitzgerald’s campaign is on the GoFundMe website. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/Help-Me-to-Heal-and-STOP-my-Cancer