Ex Celtic and Reading star appeals for help fighting ‘rare and aggressive’ cancer after terminal diagnosis

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Stuart Gray has appealed for funds to help him fight a ‘very rare and highly aggressive’ form of cancer.

Former Celtic star Stuart Gray has launched an appeal for help after receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis with doctors giving the former defender just six to 18 months to live.

The 49-year-old, who began his professional career with the Bhoys in 1992, has launched a fundraising initiative to help fight the 'very rare and highly aggressive' cancer.

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Gray was on the books at Celtic Park between 1992 and 1998, where he made 28 appearances for the club in the Scottish Premier Division. As well as playing for the Scotland under-21 side, Gray would go on to represent Reading, Rushden & Diamonds and Oxford United throughout his career. The former footballer is the son of Leeds United legend Eddie Gray and was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire in 1973.

The father of five has been diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, a form of cancer that forms in bile ducts, and is determined to fight the illness by seeking treatment that could prolong his life expectancy, or even cure the disease.

Gray and his family have launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe hoping to raise £100,000 for treatment. Within a couple of weeks, already over £25,000 has been raised for the cause.

Writing on the fundraiser, Gray said: "I was recently diagnosed with stage four Cholangiocarcinoma, which is a very rare and highly aggressive form of cancer that forms in the bile ducts. Sadly, by the time this cancer begins to show symptoms, it is usually too advanced for surgery, which is currently the only potential cure.

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"To make my condition even more complex, I was also recently diagnosed with PSC (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis), which is a chronic liver disease in which the bile ducts inside and outside the liver become inflamed and scarred, and eventually narrowed or blocked. This disease has no known cure and was most likely a contributing factor in the development of my cancer.

Over £25,000 has been raised to help Stuart Gray with his battle against cancer (Image: Getty Images)Over £25,000 has been raised to help Stuart Gray with his battle against cancer (Image: Getty Images)
Over £25,000 has been raised to help Stuart Gray with his battle against cancer (Image: Getty Images)

"The severity of my illness means that doctors estimate my life expectancy from time of diagnosis (June 2023) is somewhere in the region of 6 to 18 months. However, treatments are available for the Cholangiocarcinoma that can prolong life expectancy, and in some rare cases even cure this terrible disease, and I am determined to do everything I can to fight it with everything I have.

"Some of these treatments, such as the standard GemCis chemotherapy, are widely available on the NHS. However, some of the newer and more experimental treatments, that could have the most significant and life changing impact, have not yet been approved for NHS use. Therefore, they are less readily available, and come at a significant cost."

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