Quiz for a good cause

Jacob West stands in front of Lake Twizel, an idyllic spot where he used to enjoy rowing when he was a high-performance student at Tauranga Boys’ College.

It was by a chance hit to the head while playing rugby in 2015 that now 22-year-old Jacob West discovered he had a brain tumour. Six years on, he is still fighting off this extremely rare form of cancer.

The cancer, known as ‘Gliomatosis Cerebri’, requires the drug Avastin to treat brain tumours but unfortunately is unfunded in New Zealand.

However, with a great community supporting him, a quiz has been organised for this Saturday, April 9, at Tauranga Yacht Club to raise funds for his treatment.

Tomorrow night’s quiz for Jacob will be the second of its kind, thanks to Tracey Purslow.

When Tracey, a TYC accounts manager, colleague and close friend of Jacob’s mum, Jo West, heard that Jacob’s oral chemo had stopped working last October, she wanted to help with the new treatment’s costs.

 “The Tauranga Yacht Club do quizzes for members all the time so the close-knit team thought: ‘We’ll give this a go to try raise the money’,” says Tracey.

It was a great success, with last year’s quiz raising about $9000. Tracey hopes tomorrow’s quiz will be just as successful.

Tracey says prior to having tumours, Jacob loved to run, row and play rugby. “He was an easy-going, into sports – a regular Kiwi guy – until this happened.”

While the seizures Jacob experienced due to the tumours have ceased, he is still fatigued all the time, says Tracey. “He gets a lot of headaches and he’s been having a bit of trouble with his vision as well.”

In 2018, Jacob had started a commerce degree majoring in marketing at Wellington’s Victoria University but had to return after about 18 months.
“He was finding it too much. He got too tired and just couldn’t really do anything so he came back up to Tauranga.”

Here he is supported by his mum Jo and stepdad, Jack McSweeney.

Jacob has treatments every two weeks with a combination of Ironetecan and Avastin at local public and private cancer centres. This treatment process is thankfully working.

“Regular MRI scan check-ups show it has shrunk a lot of the swelling around the tumour,” says Tracey.

Jacob and his family hope to keep up this positive progress.

Tomorrow night’s quiz for Jacob is at 7pm with doors open from 5.30pm at Tauranga Yacht Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga.

Teams can have up to six people, with tickets $20 per person. There will be raffles, spot prizes and auctions too. Food and drink can be purchased at the bar.

To enter a team, email: accounts@yacht.org.nz Or support Jacob through a Givealittle page at: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-jacob-fight-cancer


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