Diagnosed too late with cancer due to confinement, this Belgian only has a year to live

This is a story that Niels Petry struggles to tell the journalists of Belang van Limburg. Two years ago he was diagnosed with stage three skin cancer with two tumors growing on his neck. “It is no longer possible to win the battle, the cancer is in its last stage and it is incurable,” the man confesses to Het Belang van Limburg.

Owner of a lodging in Spain that he manages with his wife Catherine, Niels had perceived the first symptoms of the disease on the day of his marriage, in February 2020, indicates Sudinfo. “When Catherine put a tie on me, she discovered a lump on my neck,” she explains. “I didn’t get overwhelmed that day, but then I made an appointment with a skin specialist.”

the deadly containment

The appointment is quickly set for March 15, the same day as the start of the confinement in Spain. The date is then postponed as the lump continues to grow on Niels’ neck. “In the end, the mass was about as big as a golf ball. He couldn’t hold his head up straight anymore,” he says. Three months later, the diagnosis finally drops. Despite all the treatments, doctors discovered in January this year that the tumor had spread to the brain, leaving Niels without hope: he only had a year to live.

According to Niels, the lockdown played an important role in the evolution of his cancer. “The cancer would have been discovered on the first date and then the metastases would never have appeared,” he laments. “It is terribly unfair. I was angry about this for a long time. But what’s the point when I have so little time left? I resign myself to my fate and try to enjoy my wife and children to the fullest.”

As they abandoned their lodgings and spent lavishly on treatments, Niels and Catherine exhausted all their savings. That’s why they decided to launch a fundraising to be able to allow Niels to reimburse his treatments and to have one last beautiful summer with his daughters, Lore and Britt. “These vacations with my daughters close to me are my last hope. A summer to create memories together that you can treasure for the rest of your lives,” she concludes. The family has already been able to raise 10,700 euros

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