My aim is to raise £50,000 to secure the funds for the next two years of my ongoing brain cancer treatment.
In November 2012 I developed a severe headache which would not go away and I was diagnosed with a large brain tumour called an Astrocytoma which had gone undetected and without any symptoms for approximately seven years.
I underwent an emergency six-hour operation while I was awake, which took a number of months to recover from. The biopsy identified my tumour as aggressive and malignant. As a result of this I then had daily high-dose radiotherapy for six weeks at the start of 2013. This was physically and emotionally draining, not least because I lost all my hair. Four months after my radiotherapy I returned to work as a teacher.
Research and more importantly treatment, for Astrocytomas is very limited and the NHS can offer me no further treatment and will only do regular monitoring via MRI scanning. I have been told that the tumour will grow back, or try to in the next few years.
At 33 years old I feel too young to give in to this disease. Through independent research and second, third and forth opinions I have discovered an immunotherapy vaccine treatment, which is only available in Hungary and the USA. While the vaccine is still at the trial phase, patients who have taken it so far have reported improvement in their disease stability and prognosis. There are no guarantees of success with this experimental treatment, however at 33 years old I feel that it is worth my best shot.
This immunotherapy treatment is very expensive and not available in the UK, so I will need to raise £50,000 to secure the funds for the first two years of the treatment. For this reason, I have set up my More Than Hope Just Giving page, in the hope that my family, friends and anyone else who is able to, will help me either through sponsored events, fund-raising or in any other way they can to help me to reach this financial target.