Man with end-stage colon cancer stops chemotherapy and plans his own death party


Russ Pegrum, 48, of Waltham Abbey, has colon cancer and was told in September that medics could not do anything else, despite giving the all-clear in March

Russ Pegrum stopped chemotherapy to enjoy time with friends and family

One terminal cancer patient has dropped out of treatment and will attend his own wake to make as many memories as possible in the remaining time.

Russ Pegrum, 48, of Waltham Abbey, has colon cancer and was told in September that medical professionals could do nothing else, despite the all-clear in March.

Mr. Pegrum has decided to quit chemotherapy because of his mental health and has planned an end of life celebration to meet with loved ones. HertsLive reports.

He said the decision to stop treatment was a bit of a gamble after a roller coaster diagnosis since his first in August.

He explained, “It was a little bargain, I was told the cancer was gone in March, I was told the cancer was back in June, and I was told in September that there was nothing people could do.”

Russ has spoken openly about his diagnosis and has received tremendous support from his family and friends, even going as far as planning his own funeral and arranging a “death party”.

Russ, right, with brother Gary at Paradise Wildlife Park


Herts Live / BPM MEDIA)

Russ’ death party, as he affectionately calls it, takes place on Saturday, November 13th and will give him the opportunity to meet old family and friends while having a good time.

He continued, “A few people suggested that I have the wake so I can be there, it’s an opportunity to see old friends and not necessarily say goodbye, but just have a good time.

“I try to give myself little things to look forward to, so I really look forward to them.”

The party will have pizza, booze, and games, with Russ also setting an optional costume theme for the guests portraying death.

Russ also took the opportunity to plan his own funeral.

He’s written his own poems, left his pension money for his brother, nephew, and niece, and only has a few things to do before it’s done.

Russ, pictured with his family, is planning a wake-up party


Herts Live / BPM MEDIA)

“I have to write a little more, I chose the coffin and the hymns,” said Russ.

“I just have to select the photos, but it’s about 80 percent ready.

“It can be death related, if you want to wear a skull or grim reaper costume you can.”

Russ’ mother Brenda fully supports his decision to end treatment and his option to attend his own wake.

She said, “I think families don’t talk enough about death and I think it will help many people who are going through the same thing.

“Don’t you think that when someone dies, you wish you had said this or that.

“We have a lot of admiration for Russ.”

Brenda and the rest of the family spent a lot of time with Russ, taking him to fancy dinners, seeing his favorite football team, Tottenham Hotspur, and the family also got tattoos in honor of Russ and his trip.

Throughout this time, Russ and Brenda have worked tirelessly to raise money for charities that help cancer patients.

Brenda has spent much of her life raising money for charity and has now passed that opportunity on to her own son.

She said: “Russ took over where I left off, I drove the race for life for nine years.

Fundraiser Shane Yerrell, right, has raised £ 3,000 through JustGiving


Herts Live / BPM MEDIA)

“I’ve done a lot of charities over the years and I never thought what I raised would help my son – well, it didn’t help because it’s incurable, but it will help others.”

The past 36 months have been very difficult for Russ, but people have supported him all the way and often donated money for him JustGiving page founded by local community champion Shane Yerrell.

The site has received over £ 3,000 in donations from 108 different supporters to date, but he’s even got stopped on the street by random people giving him money.

Brenda says it was great using this time to spend with her son while also raising awareness of others struggling with the same disease.

“It is a consolation to know that in the situation in which we find ourselves we are helping others, we can never thank everyone individually, people we do not even know have donated,” she said.

To donate to their fundraising page, click here .

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