Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Delays star Greg Gilbert cancer appeal 'among fastest ever'

Greg Gilbert, Stacey Heale and their daughters Dali aged three and Bay aged one Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Greg Gilbert and fiancée Stacey Heale have two daughters, Dali aged three and Bay aged one

An appeal to pay for cancer treatment for the lead singer of indie band Delays has reached its £100,000 target in 48 hours.

Father-of-two Greg Gilbert, 39, from Southampton, has been diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer.

His fiancée Stacey Heale said his only chance of survival was to go abroad for treatment which she said was not available to him on the NHS.

GoFundMe said the appeal was one of the "fastest ever" campaigns on its site.

More than 4,000 people have so far donated to the fundraising page, posted at 10:30 GMT on Wednesday, including music stars Craig David and Ellie Goulding.

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Media captionDelays singer Greg Gilbert on cancer diagnosis

In a Facebook post, Mr Gilbert said the response was " truly humbling".

"I can't begin to express our gratitude - not a penny is being taken for granted and we've been moved to tears many times over the last few days reading the supportive messages from not only friends and family but also strangers from all over the world."

Ms Heale said she and Mr Gilbert had been "in tears and holding hands" as they watched the pledges come in.

She said: "It's been overwhelming; our phone has been ringing off the hook. I was refreshing the page this morning and were just like, 'oh my God, we've done it'.

"Grateful doesn't cover it. We've had one person donate £2,000. After such a difficult year for people, to have this at Christmas is so hopeful for us."

Ms Heale said she was researching options for treatment, including personalised immunotherapy in Germany and the USA.

She said she was considering posting a new fundraising target of £250,000, after a private specialist warned that Mr Gilbert's medical bills could amount to £100,000 a year.

Writing on the funding page, Ms Heale said her fiancée had begun chemotherapy for the cancer, which had spread to his lungs.

She said she was disappointed the drug Avastin, for advanced bowel cancers, was currently not routinely available on the NHS.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Greg Gilbert has been diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer

A fundraising gig has been organised on 5 January at the Southampton venue, the Joiners, where Delays have played many times during their career.

The band was formed in Southampton in 2001 by brothers Greg and Aaron Gilbert with Colin Fox and Rowly.

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