A 55-year-old brain tumour patient who has weeks to live is spending his remaining time selflessly raising money for charity.
Paul King, known to his friends as Dixie, has written a collection of poems, which have been published into a book called 'My Pensive Moods'.
His dying wish to to sell every copy of the £15 book and donate the proceeds towards finding a cure for brain tumours.
To buy a copy, join Dixie King - My Pensive Moods Facebook group.
Dixie, who lives in Bletchley, said this week: “The hospital have stopped the chemo and radiotherapy as they’re not working, so I am just having palliative care now and relying on hope.
"The last prognosis I had was three to six months, but that was three months ago. We are just taking it week by week at the moment. It isn’t the best news."
He added: “My collection of poems has been selling fast but I am keen to sell them all and be able to donate the proceeds to Brain Tumour Research before I go.”
The poems share Dixie's thoughts and emotions during his battle with brain cancer. They also express his love for his wife, children and grandchildren.
He hopes his work will help other cancer patients and their families while raising funds for Brain Tumour Research, which is based at Shenley Wood in Milton Keynes.
A massive scooter enthusiast, Dixie was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in September 2019 after suffering what was initially thought to be a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini stroke.
At the time he experienced flashing lights in his left eye and tremors in his left hand. He lost coordination and couldn’t pick anything up. Dixie’s GP sent him to have a scan at Milton Keynes University Hospital, which revealed he had a brain tumour.
He underwent neurosurgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Dixie said: “After my treatment, my wife Jules and I started going away as much as we could to make memories, with Jules driving our camper van. Having undergone brain surgery, I wasn’t able to drive any more, so we couldn’t go off on our scooters together, although I do ride pillion on the back of Jules’ scooters whenever I can".
Devastatingly, a regular scan earlier this year revealed more brain tumours and Dixie had further surgery. He underwent more grueling chemotherapy but sadly it did not work.
He is now concentrating on enjoying what time he has left with his family and promoting sales for his book so it can raise as much money as possible.
“Knowing that my time was so limited, I started writing poems for Jules who is my soulmate. We met on the internet in 2005 and discovered we had a shared passion for scooters and going away on scooter rallies. But we didn’t actually meet in person for six months.
"I proposed to her on the day we met and was ecstatic when she said yes. Since then, we have had 14 blissfully happy years together before I was diagnosed."
Some of the poems in the book are dedicated to Jules and her daughters Lucy and Sophie, as well as the couple's grandchildren and Dixie's dad.
“I hope that my poems will benefit other cancer patients who can’t or don’t know how to express their emotions and I hope that the sales of My Pensive Moods will help to raise vital funds for research into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40," he said.
"The least I can do is give something back and hopefully help others who are struggling to let their loved ones know their inner-most feelings."
In the Foreword to My Pensive Moods, Sue Farrington Smith, MBE, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, writes: “Dixie’s poems demonstrate real honesty and emotion, describing the daily battle of living with a brain tumour for both him and his wife and wider family. They are poems of love and bravery and a real tribute to Jules, who also now finds herself in the role of Dixie’s carer. We are so grateful to Dixie for generously gifting Brain Tumour Research with the proceeds from the sales of his book.”
Less than 12% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers, yet historically just 1% of the national cancer spend has been allocated to researching the disease.
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.
The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.