Due to the reasons below, we have not been able to finish the fan film by November this year. There is not just one reason for this failure, there are in fact two. If you have been keeping track of this web page you will have seen the running figure for the total amount of donations we have received to date for the film. The figure of £3,015 is only half of what we needed to raise to get through this year in the run up to the convention without taking on other work. But this is not the sole reason for not being able to complete the project, as you all know Alan has a complex and rare cancer. This was only diagnosed in September 2018 four years after he became ill. Five years ago, when it was clear something was wrong with him, he was put onto a regime of drugs in an attempt to combat the undiagnosed issues he was experiencing. One of the drugs he was given was steroids, which are only supposed to be taken for a relatively short period. Unfortunately, in Alan’s case, every time they tried to withdraw this particular medicine, he became extremely ill, to the point of hospitalisation on some occasions. The net result is that he has had to not only stay on the steroids long term, but to also have them increased to try and slow the disease as it has progressed. One of the side effects of long-term steroid use is the possible development of cataracts in the eyes. This sadly is exactly what has happened in Alan’s case. His eyesight has gradually been worsening since the start of the year. As it stands, he had difficulty seeing sufficiently well to work at a computer screen, which has slowed progress to such an extent it became clear that we would not be able to finish the film in time for the convention this year.
We did not have sufficient funds for Alan to have the surgery privately, he is entirely reliant on the NHS. It took several months to get an appointment to be assessed for a cataract operation and a further delay for the first operation on his right eye, which is the worst affected. This operation took place on October 24th and the vision in his right eye is now improving as his eye recovers. Alan’s left eye will not be operated on until approximately March 2020, but as it is far less affected than his right eye and seems to be progressing at a slower rate, it is felt that he should have reasonably good vision in the run up to that date. Whilst this is good news in one way, it also means that sadly, we will not be in attendance at the con this year. Unfortunately, Alan will not be able to drive for a while after surgery and he is also at high risk for infection so has to remain close to our hospital just in case there are problems. We are both saddened that we won’t be able to be with you all, we regard you all as friends and look forward to seeing you each year.
We intend to finish the film once Alan’s eyesight has been sufficiently restored, we have already put plans in place to create an income stream to allow us to pay our monthly bills so that we can look to finish the film for next year’s convention. We are painfully aware that this is yet another delay, but the whole issue with Alan’s eyes came out of the blue. Yes, we were aware it could happen, but the hope was it would be many years away. Unfortunately, steroids can have this effect quite quickly, in Alan’s case five years, and that has left us with yet another medical blow to deal with. It is like that old saying, “it can’t get any worse”, then you discover it can!
Alan & Linda Marques