Norwich man halfway towards £2,000 target for cancer charity

Matthew Agarwala is raising money for It's On The Ball.

Matthew Agarwala is raising money for It's On The Ball. - Credit: Matthew Agarwala

A former cancer patient is looking to raise £2,000 to support those that feel they face an "impossible" choice between following their treatment plan and supporting their families.

Matthew Agarwala, from Norwich, decided to raise the money after hearing testicular cancer charity It's On The Ball, based in Upper King Street,  had seen an increase in demand for its services.

Mr Agarwala, an economist, said he knew the expenses patients would be going through having undergone treatment for testicular cancer twice, in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Agarwala said patients diagnosed in the pandemic may feel the "odds were stacked against them".

The 34-year-old, who was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and during his second diagnosis at the Royal Marsden Hospital, said: "During my first cancer I lost my job and I had savings so I was lucky.

"You have to get different clothes because the pain in your fingers is such you cannot do the buttons up on your shirt. You cannot take public transport anywhere because the chemotherapy has wiped out your immune system. It's all expenses.

"Many won't be able to go to work. For me, I wasn't able to think through all the different things I was trying to do." 

Vincent Wolverston, chief executive of the charity, said: "It's On The Ball has recently seen an increase in the number of testicular cancer patients requesting some form of support. Inevitably during treatment patients require time off work and may lose income, but currently, there may be the added pressure that partners are unable to work due to the Covid-19 restrictions and the family is on a reduced income. 

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"Patients are also experiencing isolation and are unable to meet with friends or family and discuss their situation and receive emotional support."

Anyone experiencing symptoms they think could be cancer should contact their GP immediately.

In addition to It's On The Ball, anyone diagnosed with cancer can receive support below:


Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Macmillan Benefits Advice Service
0345 600 6257

The team is available to help apply for grants and benefits, including a one-off Macmillan Grant to help cover the costs of cancer, and grants from other charities and funds.

The charity also has specialist teams on its free phoneline dedicated to providing Financial Guidance Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, by calling the Macmillan Support Line free on 0800 808 00 00.

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The NNUH holds virtual ‘Benefits advice’ through Macmillan which NNUH patients can be referred to 0345 600 6257 to make a referral or email