Welwyn Garden City woman crowdfunds for father with cancer she hasn’t seen in four years

PUBLISHED: 17:12 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:34 26 August 2020

Charlene with her parents in 2016 at the Harpsfield Hall in Hatfield. . Picture: Supplied

Charlene with her parents in 2016 at the Harpsfield Hall in Hatfield. . Picture: Supplied


A WGC woman who hasn’t seen her dying dad since 2016 is crowdfunding to get him life saving cancer treatment.

Charlene De Waal with her father. Picture: SuppliedCharlene De Waal with her father. Picture: Supplied

Charlene De Waal has lived in Welwyn Hatfield since 2002, but is originally from South Africa – where her father currently lives.

Her 67-year-old dad, Gerhard, was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma cancer during lockdown, but last week the oncologist said the cancer is nearing stage 4.

Charlene said: “I miss my parents dearly and have not seen them since 2016 when I was in the hospital for a week myself, they flew over to help me out as I could not move much for two weeks.

“I spoke to him yesterday [last week] and he got so upset as he said he would like to see us again soon and said the doctor has confirmed that the best treatment to give him a fighting chance is immune therapy.

Charlene De Waal has been living in Welwyn Hatfield since 2002. Picture: SuppliedCharlene De Waal has been living in Welwyn Hatfield since 2002. Picture: Supplied

“Unfortunately, we also received the news that his current private medical provider can only fund six sessions of chemo and radiation which will not be a good option due to him being severely underweight with chronic Rheumatoid which he has had since 1994.”

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Gerhard spent 38 years in Orkney, South Africa, in the mining industry.

He started as a stopper, blasting gold out of rocks in the mines before eventually being pulled underground when he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Artritis in 1994.

Though he didn’t stop working in the industry until 2009 when the mine he was working at closed.

Charlene added: “We had the call during May, he had a skin graft before lockdown in South Africa and had a Rheumatoid flare up and he had to go into hospital for a week. At first we were helpless, up and down with emotions, very upset as we could not do much. I felt very low.”

The oncologist in South Africa said six immunotherapy session will extend his chance of the melanoma not spreading, and give his family all a chance to visit – depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Charlene said due to a few unfortunate events it’s not possible to travel out yet, but is planning a trip in December if restrictions are lifted.

She added: “Our situation is not unique and there must be other families going through the same difficulties around the world. We try not to rely much on friends and family as they all face their own financial hardships at this moment and the uncertainty of COVID in the coming months.”

If you would like to help Charlene raise money for six immunotherapy sessions for her father please visit: gofundme.com/f/1mtdrbkrqo.

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