Hello, thank you for taking the time to read this.
I'm Gillian, a 31 year old woman with a loving husband, Stephen, and beautiful little 2 1/2 year old daughter.
I got ill in October 2013 and had a biopsy which revealed exotic growth to my right kidney. As this was making me very poorly it was decided by consultants that it needed to be removed. It was removed in December 2013 via a major nephrectomy operation which left me in hospital for 10 days. Subsequently I was in a lot of pain for around 6 months of recovery. This was all while trying as a family to raise an 8 month old little girl, at which point my husband was left holding the baby, literally running the house and everything else that needed to be done. What should have been an amazing first family Christmas was actually very hard as I was still recovering and I couldn't bend, sit or do anything very well so I missed out massively.
After New Year we were called in by consultants to be told that unfortunately it was kidney cancer and that the biopsy taken was a bit of the benign growth but that it was mostly all cancerous.
Things moved very fast from there. I was brought in a couple of days later and started on a drug called Sunitinib, a chemotherapy. I also had a round of radiotherapy a little bit later on. Lots of hospitalisation followed as I kept catching infections due to low immune system - a side effect of the chemo.
Months passed by and good and bad results came and went, then I stopped responding to the chemo. It was decided that I needed to go onto another drug - Everlomis. By this point the lymph nodes had grown a bit.
Again, months and months passed and I was responding well to treatment with some really positive scans. Then, out of nowhere, sever pain occurred. A scan was arranged and it came back that I'd stopped responding again to the drug. I'd exhausted all drugs the NHS could use. Now, a waiting game while consulants searched for any suitable drug trials.
Eventually I was brought in to be told they'd exhausted all avenues and all that was left was for palliative care to make me comfortable until the end.
Devastated doesn't even come close to how I, my husband and my family felt.
Then finally we were brought in by a consultant to say that there was a 3rd line chemo drug that was my best option to take but that he's tried to get approval for it and he was told no. The drug is available free if I lived in Scotland, but I don't - my only option is to buy this drug - Axitinib, and see how I get on a few cycles down the line. But it comes with a high price! One pharmacy has quoted £4220 a time, another £3517. From what I understand, I can take this for as long as I respond to it, but at a price like this, it's impossible to fund ourselves.
We've already had a lot of family heartache: I sadly lost my Mam, when she was only 55 years old through, cancer, but not a genetic one. Also, our little girl was premature and very poorly in special care for many weeks. Then sadly my father in law passed away due to cancer at only 47 years old whilst I was going through my operation, so we've had a lot to deal with and we just want a little bit of good luck and some positive news for once.
We'd also like to ask anyone that is willing to donate as much as you can when you can. Every penny we get we'll use towards funding the drug so I can have some kind of life and hopefully see my little girl grow up.
Monies donated will be used on a first come first used basis. We also want to point out that if I were to pass away before we'd used your donation, we'd like to pass it on to a cancer charity. We haven't picked one yet, but it would be a worthy cause and one that we would choose wisely. Otherwise, please say and we'd somehow arrange for the money to be returned to you if not used for the treatment.
I want to thank you kindly from the bottom of my heart firstly for even taking the time to read this, and even more so for donating. I could never explain to you how much this means to us.
Lots of love and hugs,
Gillian & Stephen.