Thousands Unite To Support Music Agent Ben Kouijzer
36-year-old CAA music agent Ben Kouijzer was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer called MPNST in June 2019. He underwent invasive surgery and radiotherapy to remove the disease. Life returned to normal and after getting engaged in Sydney at the start of 2020, he began training for the London Marathon to raise funds for cancer charity Sarcoma UK.
Ben celebrated his 36th birthday in late March 2020 however, the day after, at the height of the global pandemic, a routine CT scan showed the cancer had returned. It had unfortunately spread to his lungs. There was no cure, and the prognosis was terminal.
Determined to overcome his illness, Ben turned to GoFundMe. This was with the hope of raising enough funds for private therapies and treatments outside of the UK. He exceeded over £100,000 of support in just 24 hours. Renowned clients past and present, including Craig David, Meduza and Roger Sanchez, showed their support for the universally loved agent. Prior to his employment at CAA he had previously worked at United Talent Agency.
With private molecular testing underway, Ben endured major lung surgery to have some of the disease removed in May. He then took on the most aggressive regime of chemotherapy available. He spent over a month in hospital in isolation over the summer, where he was treated for numerous infections. After completing three cycles of chemotherapy in August, the NHS told him that there was nothing more they could do to help. They suggested he “go on holiday”, “get married” and fulfil any short-term wishes he had. With options running out, Ben and his fiancé Lotte made the decision to travel to an alternative treatment centre in Mexico in September, despite not being able to get medical insurance due to the prognosis.
Just weeks into the programme, Ben shared an incredible update with his supporters:
“We FINALLY have positive news to share, and I am in utter shock and disbelief. Two of the major lesions are now half the size, one of them remains, and three have disappeared altogether. I am beyond elated.”
Ben’s journey took a devastating turn just days later when he was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties. Ben was immediately intubated and placed into a medically induced coma. He had tested positive for COVID-19. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit battling aggressive infections and fighting for his life, while Lotte remains in quarantine alone.
An incredible £220,000 has been raised to date – with almost £80,000 of that for his most recent emergency treatment. With hospital fees amassing over $5,000 a day, Ben’s fight to survive is only made possible by the generous donations and outpouring of love from around the world.