Hi there. My name is James Hastings, I'm 41 and I’ve been diagnosed with stage four cholangiocarcinoma, which is a rare and aggressive cancer that forms in the bile ducts. As a husband and father to three young boys, I am determined to beat this diagnosis, however the journey is not easy. Despite being medically eligible for EC approved immunotherapy, the HSE will not cover the cost because it has not yet been approved for reimbursement by Ireland’s National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). It will take at least six, and possibly up to 18 months, for the NCPE to review and potentially approve the drug for reimbursement, time that I just don't have.
Treatment is available overseas, and specifically in the United Kingdom under a Professor who specialises in cholangiocarcinoma, who has advised I am in the 0.69% of people whose cholangiocarcinoma is responsive to immunotherapy. This means the treatment has a very real chance of saving my life.
Immunotherapy treatment is, however, very expensive. I also need to cover the cost of other medical costs, such as the cost of scans and other medical tests, consultant reviews, and the costs of travel, which may include consultant reviews in the United States with other of the world's leading cholangiocarcinoma specialists.
Once I have beaten cholangiocarcinoma, I will make it my life’s mission to ensure no one else faces the battle that I have had to access information, treatment and a positive and constructive plan.
Please follow my journey as I fight to beat this cancer, and make a difference for others in the future. You can find out more at www.jamesfightsback.ie and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamesfightsback. Any support you can give along the way would be so very much appreciated.