Community rallies around young dad after devastating cancer diagnosis

Matthew Webb, his fiance Kerstin and their young son Jesse

THE Lyme Regis community has rallied around local resident Matthew Webb after he was diagnosed with an extremely rare and incurable form of cancer.

In August, the 28-year-old was given the devastating news that he had an incurable form of stage four cancer, known as metastatic adenocarcinoma, suspected of the thymus and which had spread to the lymph nodes. Not only is this rare, but at Matt’s young age it is almost unheard of.

Matthew lives in Axminster with his fiancé Kerstin and two-year-old son Jesse. He is well-known in Lyme Regis having worked at Boots and Quality Corner in Broad Street, and has continued to work at Boots in Honiton despite his diagnosis.

His mum Sarah Webb said the whole family’s “lives and hearts were shattered” when they heard the news, which came after Matthew was sent for tests following a routine x-ray for a chest infection.

Matthew has started chemotherapy this week but some additional treatments that could help him are not available on the NHS. His results have already been reviewed in America and specialists in London and Cambridge are also said to be interested in looking into his diagnosis, owing to the extreme rarity of his condition.

His family has launched a fundraising campaign for more specialist treatment, to allow Matthew to stay with them for as long and as comfortably as possible, without having to worry about work.

The local community has rallied around the campaign, with a number of fundraising events planned.

In Lyme Regis, a coffee morning will be held at Lyme Regis Baptist Church tomorrow (Saturday, October 12) from 10.30am, and a bingo night will be held at the Woodmead Halls on Friday, October 18, with doors opening at 7pm for eyes down at 8pm.

Chatterbox Maxine Thirlwell, who works in Mulberry Manor in Broad Street, will also be holding a sponsored silence on Friday, November 8th from 9am to 3pm while she is at work at the bakery. Customers are encouraged to come in and support Maxine, who has already raised £300, but remember she can’t talk!

In Charmouth, Manor Farm Holiday Centre will host a fundraising evening tonight (Friday, October 11), starting with bingo at 7.30pm followed by live music by the Vinyl Monkeys.

An auction of promises will he held at Salwayash Village Hall, near Bridport, on Saturday, November 16 with doors opening at 7pm for a 7.30pm.

Tickets for the event cost £12, including a ploughman’s supper and dessert, and can be purchased by calling Shaunna on 07855 126 618 or email, or Beth on 07912 600 989 or email

Donations can also be made at Boots branches in Lyme Regis and Bridport, and online at

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2241 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.