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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Friends fund Wilson's cancer drug
Anthony Wilson
Anthony Wilson was an influential figure in the "Madchester" scene
Friends of Manchester broadcaster Anthony Wilson are helping pay for his 3,500-a-month kidney cancer treatment after the NHS refused to fund it.

Wilson, 56, famous for setting up the Hacienda nightclub and Factory Records, had a kidney removed in January.

Doctors recommended he take the drug Sutent, after chemotherapy failed to beat the disease.

Members of the Happy Mondays and other acts he has supported over the years have started a fund to help pay for it.

He says his condition has improved and he believes the drug has stopped the cancer in its tracks.

He was turned down by the NHS, while patients being treated alongside him at The Christie Hospital and living just a few miles away in Cheshire are receiving funding for the therapy.

The Christie Hospital
Sutent has doubled the life expectancy of some patients

He said: "This is my only real option. It is not a cure but can hold the cancer back, so I will probably be on it until I die.

"When they said I would have to pay 3,500 for the drugs each month, I thought where am I going to find the money? I'm the one person in this industry who famously has never made any money.

"I used to say some people make money and some make history - which is very funny until you find you can't afford to keep yourself alive.

"I've never paid for private healthcare because I'm a socialist. Now I find you can get tummy tucks and cosmetic surgery on the NHS but not the drugs I need to stay alive. It is a scandal."

Nathan McGough, former manager of the Happy Mondays who has known Wilson for 30 years, teamed up with Elliot Rashman, the Mondays' present manager, to set up a fund after they heard of his plight.

There is now enough money in the pot to pay for five months of treatment.

Wilson currently presents a programme on BBC Radio Manchester.

He has also presented a music show on Xfm Manchester and another on local television station Channel M.

Sutent has doubled the life expectancy of some patients in trials.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Anthony Wilson talks about his illness



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