Friends of Terry Farrugia, including a number of media personalities, have come together to help raise €500,000 for the radio veteran’s leukaemia treatment.
Mr Farrugia, a father of two boys aged eight and 10, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2016, when he was hospitalised and given his first line treatment of four rounds of chemotherapy.
The aim was to wipe out the faulty bone marrow and hopefully allow healthy tissue to grow back. Meanwhile, doctors started looking for a bone marrow donor to provide more security in ensuring that the cancer does not return.
Unfortunately, there was no suitable donor on the international database.
By then, Mr Farrugia had gone into remission and was sent home in September 2016.
After just over a year, Terry and his family received the dreadful news that the disease had returned.
The next line of treatment was more aggressive chemotherapy and this time a bone marrow transplant was not an option, but a must.
Still not having located a suitable adult donor, his only option was to have a transplant in the UK from cord blood, which provides a finite amount of stem cells.
He underwent a transplant in March of 2018 and this involved more chemotherapy and some radiotherapy.
Recovery seemed slow, but Mr Farrugia persisted and started to regain strength after a couple of months. The first test results indicated that the transplant had been a success with no disease detected.
However, soon after, it was confirmed that Mr Farrugia had relapsed. As the transplant donor was cord blood, there was no possibility to return to the donor to harvest more stem cells.
The doctors decided to source another drug, a type of chemotherapy that specifically targets mutated cells. This drug, donated by the pharmaceutical company producing it on compassionate terms, was successful in targeting the leukaemia and putting him back into remission.
Four months after being given the more targeted chemotherapy drug, Mr Farrugia relapsed again.
Given that his disease is acute and therefore time is of the essence, several centres were contacted about the possibility of him receiving further treatment.
One such centre, based in Houston, Texas, is interested in offering Mr Farrugia treatment. He flew to the US earlier this week, but the financial burden is huge.
Up until now Mr Farrugia’s treatment was supported by the Malta Community Chest Fund, Puttinu Cares, the Treatment Abroad section of the health department, the Haematology Team at SAMOC, the Maltese High Commission, the Ladybird Foundation and close friends of the family, such as fellow parents from San Anton School and Melita Football Club.
The only way for this treatment to go ahead is for Mr Farrugia’s family to cover the expenses.
With the assistance of CSB Trustees and Fiduciaries Limited, a trustee company licensed by the MFSA, a trust account has been formally set up in order to help raise funds the family needs to pay for the treatment in the US.
A police licence has been obtained and a board has been appointed in order to ensure the proper management of the funds collected.
Donations can be made through paypal by using firstname.lastname@example.org or via Bank Transfer: Terry Time Trust Bank Account, c/o CSB trustees & fiduciaries Ltd; Bank of Valletta PLC; account number 40025136757; Iban number mt77vall22013000000040025136757 and swift: vallmtmt
More information on https://terrytime.org/
Terry’s radio career
Mr Farrugia started his radio career on Island Sound Radio in the early 1990s with his popular programme Terry Time. He then moved his radio show to Bay Radio, where he eventually ventured into management, later moving on to 88.7 Vibe FM. He has been running Vibe FM since 2009.
Apart from managing radio stations, Terry has also trained many local presenters, supported local bands, and been repeatedly invited to speak and deliver presentations at international broadcasting conferences in various cities throughout Europe including Rome, London and Athens.
In 2004 he was instrumental in launching radio awards that recognised local talent, the BMAs, with all proceeds raised being shared among a number of children’s charities.
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