Development squad defender Jack Bateson's dad David is hosting a charity match at Ampthill Town on Tuesday 18th July, with Jack and the Hatters U21s taking on the Spartan South Midlands side as part of their pre-season schedule.
David was diagnosed with Melanoma on his scalp in late 2019. Since then, the cancer has spread to his liver, lungs and spine.
He has started a course of immunotherapy, which has had some amazing results. The cancer has now stabilised and David is able to live with it, as he discusses in the video interview above.
He explains: "I was diagnosed with melanoma in December 2019 after discovering a very small growth on the top of my scalp. After removing the growth and testing of the nearest lymph nodes, they initially thought that the cancer had been removed successfully.
"Unfortunately six months later, melanomas was discovered in the lymph nodes in my neck. I had lots of surgery during 2020 including a neck dissection to remove the affected lymph nodes.
"In August 2021, I received the devastating news that the cancer had spread further (stage 4) to my lungs, liver and spine. Stage 4 melanoma has a very bleak prognosis, with traditional drugs such as chemotherapy having a poor success rate.
"I started on a course of immunotherapy at Addenbrookes, which is a relatively new drug, and it’s had some amazing results. The immunotherapy allows your own immune system to fight cancer cells and is generally ‘kinder’ on the body than chemotherapy. My cancer is now stable and has been for the last 18 months, this drug is allowing me to live with cancer.
"Without this drug, I believe that I wouldn’t be here today. I have a strong desire to raise money to say thanks and to help to contribute to more research in this area. The work that has been done so far has given me my life back."
Explaining the idea behind the match, he adds: "I’m a mad footfall fan from Luton originally, now living in Ampthill. I support Luton and my son Jack plays for the U21s so when I had an idea to host a football match at Ampthill Town FC and spoke to my friend Gary Maidment, the chairman, he was more than happy to give the gate receipts to charity."
All funds raised from the 7.30pm kick-off will go to Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, who do great work to support further research in this area.
You can buy tickets for the game at Ampthill Park HERE.
To make a donation to David's JustGiving page, click HERE.