About Noel Watkins

Noel Watkins is an Irish man living in the Cayman Islands for the last 12 years with his wife, Christine and their two children, Johnny (8) and Ava (6). He is young (aged 42), fit and up until a few months ago, incredibly healthy.

Noel is a tennis coach and after he finished giving lessons on Monday 1st June, his doctor sent him for tests having received troubling blood test results. At the hospital, scans revealed a large tumor which was almost entirely encasing the right side of his heart and blocking most of the blood flow through the heart chambers. Specialists in the local hospital performed emergency surgery on Noel that night, removing most of the tumor and replacing one of the valves in his heart.

Biopsy results following the surgery revealed the condition to be a rare and aggressive form of cancer – a cardiac synovial sarcoma.


The Condition and Treatment Plan

Synovial sarcoma is an aggressive and fast-growing type of cancer which forms in areas of soft tissue, usually in the arms and legs. Cardiac synovial sarcoma of the heart is incredibly rare and there are very few reported cases. Only a small number of specialists have expertise in the treatment of this disease, located in centers of excellence in the United States.

Since his surgery in June, Noel has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy in Grand Cayman and has another two to complete in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he will also undergo proton radiotherapy.

This will be followed by further treatment, the course of which will depend on many factors, and will likely comprise of more surgery, immunotherapy and/or participation in a clinical trial or trials. The road ahead is daunting and will mean long periods away from home.

Anyone who has ever met him knows Noel as the life of the party; fun loving, energetic and full of life. Receiving this diagnosis has been devastating for him and his family. The upheaval the Watkins’ are facing as a family is something they never thought they would have to endure. As their school re-opens following a six-month closure, Johnny and Ava now need to leave their friends and classmates, not knowing when they will see them again.

In the face of what lies ahead, Noel is strong and determined to continue his fight to beat this cancer. With his positive attitude and the love and support of family and friends, he will prevail.


How you can help


We have set up a charitable initiative which aims to partially address the Watkins family’s expenses that are accumulating and will continue to accumulate over the next number of years. This will include the cost of consultations, treatments, and medication not covered by insurance, as well as accommodation and other travel and living costs and expenses while Noel, Christine and the children are in the US, and the costs of continuing to maintain the family’s schooling and residency connections to their family home. If you would like to donate, please click here.

The Green Tie Charitable Association
and the Noel Watkins Recovery Fund

The Noel Watkins Recovery Fund aims to partially address the medical and other related expenses that are accumulating and will continue to accumulate over the next number of years. The initiative is underpinned by a legal charter which will govern how funds can be used. It has also engaged the help of the Green Tie Charitable Association, a registered Non-Profit Organization (Registration # 531), to oversee the administration of the funds donated by family and friends. The Green Tie Charitable Association has created a special bank account to manage the funds on behalf of Noel and Christine.

The Noel Watkins Recovery Fund will:

  • Respect any reasonable instructions that they receive from donors as to how to contact them.
  • Comply with all relevant duties of confidentiality in relation to the donors and their donations.
  • Never share or sell the names, addresses or other personal information of the donors to third parties for the purpose of marketing or fundraising or any other reason unless we have express authority or are required by law to do so.
  • Ensure that the processing and use of any of the personal data of the donors complies with the requirements of the data protection laws in force in the Cayman Islands.

Thank You

Noel and Christine are incredibly grateful for your support over the last few months and are so appreciative of your continued support and well wishes. We will continue to provide you with updates over the coming months as Noel’s journey progresses.

Thank you so much for reading this and thank you for considering making a donation to Noel’s recovery.