My name is Gemma Williams, I am a 35 year old Mother of 2 who is currently battling stage III Breast Cancer. I have been given the devastating news that the NHS will not fund the lifesaving, preventative treatment that I desperately need to prevent a relapse.
I have now been left in an incredibly worrying situation where I now have to fundraise myself for this treatment. The costing of this treatment is around £45,000, which will cover 14 cycles of treatment every 3 weeks.
I have been lucky enough to receive some personal pledges from people to kick start my fundraising campaign but due to the
overwhelming amount of money that this treatment will cost, myself and my Pink Army will be arranging events, big and small.
It’s very sad that I should be using this time to rest and recover, however, I am now preparing myself for yet another fight to raise
the funds that I need for treatment.
Any donation, big or small will be gratefully received “sometimes we need to lose the small battles in order to win the war”
Below is my journey so far -
I was given my heartbreaking diagnosis back in January, which completely devastated our family, given that our lives had only just
returned to normality, following my husband's emergency quadruple heart bypass, at the age of only 39, just 5 months prior to this.
Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I started Chemotherapy. I was advised that hair loss was a likely side effect, so the day before I
started my treatment, I took the decision cut off my waist length hair so I could donate 14 inches to the Little Princess Trust. I also wanted to raise cancer awareness, so I started a fundraising campaign, which raised nearly £1500 for the charity.
I went through six gruelling rounds of Chemotherapy which resulted in me losing all my hair, eyelashes and finger nails. My skin
blistered and peeled, along with many other horrific side effects. Six weeks after my last chemotherapy treatment, I had a
mastectomy which included reconstruction and 6 weeks later, I started my 15 planned sessions of radiotherapy.
Unfortunately, my body rejected my reconstruction which resulted in my specialists deciding to cease radiotherapy and perform a
full mastectomy with no further reconstruction. I have now completed my radiotherapy treatment, but due to the delay this
resulted in me having to have 19 sessions of Radiotheraphy instead of the initial planned 15!
Following my first surgery, I was informed that they were able to remove the 5+ cm tumour from my breast, as well as 9 positive
lymph nodes, however, the chemotherapy had not been successful and it was feared that the cancer may have spread. I was given
various scans and faced an agonising week long wait before receiving my results.
Amazingly, even though my tumour was extremely aggressive, the cancer had not spread; however, my specialists advised that
given my age, there is a high risk of me relapsing and the cancer returning. Given that the chemotherapy had not been successful, I was obviously fearful and confided in my medical team about this.
I was given some reassurance when I was told about a fantastic new drug, Kadcyla which is currently used to treat secondary
breast cancer. My team feel like this drug would give me the best chance of not suffering a relapse.
A request was put to the IPFR (Individual Patient Request) panel and they unfortunately, declined my application. My medical team have since appealed the decision TWICE, each time submitting further information, only to also have these appeals denied. I am
currently being given anti-cancer drugs and these drugs will be administered every 3 weeks for the next 7 months. I am sceptical
about the impact these drugs will actually have, as I was already being treated with them, alongside my unsuccessful
My medical team have confirmed my fears and informed me that they are unlikely to have much of an impact. I am a firm believer
that prevention is better than cure; however, I will only be granted this new drug if I am to relapse. The cost of the new drug is
practically in comparison to the drug I am currently receiving. I believe that the fact I didn't respond to chemotherapy, paired with
the fact there have been various studies and trials carried out, which provide clinical evidence that this drug would be a great
preventative for me, should make me eligible for this drug.
I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me in requesting these drugs. I feel like it is completely unfair for me to have to live in fear, when there is a treatment out there which would provide me with the best chance of watching my young children grow up.
Please help a very worried and desperate Mum! x
How your generous donations will be used...
We'd like to thank everyone in advance for their donations and assure them that they will go directly to helping Gemma receive her cancer treatment. Gemma is currently in talks with her consultants about start dates and once that is confirmed the fundraising
money will begin to be released from an appeal account set up for her, for her to simply pay for each treatment as it happens (PAYG payment plan. The treatment is anticipated to be every 3 weeks and cost somewhere in the region of £3k per treatment - still TBC).
Should Gemma be in a position where she is fortunate enough to have raised her target and have any surplus funds, either from the Go Fund me page, or through general fundraising, then any surplus will be donated towards the new Breast Cancer Unit at Ystrad Mynach to help other breast cancer patients.
The cause is local and close to Gemma's heart after the treatment she received there. The same cause would be a beneficiary
should treatment for any reason cease, or should she no longer need or be able to continue.
- Katy Jones
- Simon Breeze