She is a much loved Wife, Mother, Nanna, Sister, Aunty, Great Aunty, Great great Aunty, and a highly valued and loved Friend.
She is generous.
She is loyal.
She is a fierce warrior of the Lord.
Why we need your help:
In July 2017, Joy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Anal Basal Cell Carcinoma with secondary liver tumours. Her prognosis was that it was “treatable” but incurable and inoperable. She was given a life expectancy of 3-6 months. Joy began Chemotherapy on 31/07/17.
14 months later, having defied the odds so far, Joy received the devastating news that scans revealed that chemotherapy was no longer working and the cancer had filled her liver. The decision by her Oncologist was to cease treatment immediately.
The only other treatment that may have some success in giving her more time is an immunotherapy drug but it is not covered by PBS, and this means that in order to try the treatment, it would need to be funded by the family. The cost of which is between $4000-6000 per treatment, and she will require fortnightly treatments. Her Oncologist has applied and granted a 2 year supply of the immunotherapy treatment from the company who owns & produces the drug if we can fund it, roughly to the value of $180000+
Joy has been unable to work for the last 18+ months and according to Centrelink is only entitled to a partial disability support pension, even though she is completely incapacitated for work. Albert, her Husband, is unable to work full time as he is needed to transport Joy to and from appointments and care for her during Chemotherapy treatments. As you can imagine, this means their savings will be quickly eaten up as they try to fund this themselves.
This brings us why weve set up a GoFundMe campaign. Joy has many people in her life that love her and want to contribute in some way to her ongoing fight. We’ve been asked to set this up as a way for people to give back to this incredible woman whose generosity, love and friendship is valued far more than she realises, so they can continue to support her fight against cancer. So we are putting our pride aside to ask for your help financially to help Joy continue to fight this cancer as long as she can!
Joy’s Journey to Diagnosis & Treatment:
For 2 years, Joy continued to speak with her GP about her increasing pain and blood loss with bowel movements. She was continuously told it was “just haemmoroids” and told that she could either continue over the counter treatments or learn to live with the pain. A colonoscopy, performed locally, was initially reported to find nothing to suggest otherwise. So again she was told she needed to learn to live with the pain. Now anyone who know Joy, knows that she is not one to complain and has a ridiculously high threshold for pain, so the fact that she was seeking answers should have been a warning.
In May 2017, when the pain rendered her incapable of sitting or standing, where she could no longer work, go to church or drive to visit her children and grandchildren, she demanded a second opinion. This was funded privately as the public hospital system had an 18 month wait list and Joy had no quality of life. With one MRI, 4 lesions were located on her liver, and biopsies revealed these were metastatic tumours. Exploratory surgery in July 2017 located her primary tumour, which was overlooked in her initial colonoscopy and on review by the surgeon, was visible during her colonoscopy but missed by the performing Doctor. She was transferred to the public system, where she had emergency surgery and blood transfusions to address haemorrhaging from her first surgery.
Joy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Anal Basal Cell Carcinoma with secondary liver tumours. Her prognosis was that it was “treatable” but incurable and inoperable due to the location, size and tissue involved, and that it had already metastisized to her liver. She was given a life expectancy of 3-6 months (best case scenario with treatment) given the advanced stage of her cancer.
Joy remained in hospital and started chemotherapy on 31/07/17 using Carboplatin 5FU via infusion pump for 4 days every 3 weeks. She was discharged to Olive McMahon Lodge run by the Cancer Council as treatment was unable to take place in Stanthorpe and Joy was not cleared for travel due to haemorrhage risk. This became her home for 3 months. Joy was allowed to return home to Stanthorpe in October 2017, when not doing chemotherapy. She was overjoyed to be in her own home again as she wasn’t sure she would ever see it again.
Regular scans showed that the tumours were responding to chemotherapy and progressively shrinking in size. During this time, Joy remained vigilant in maintaining her nutritional and physical health, growing stronger week by week, gaining some much desired independence in being able to care for some of her needs independently and not require constant care, eventually being able to drive again!
On 14/09/18, scans revealed that chemotherapy was no longer working and the cancer had filled her liver. The decision by her Oncologist was to cease treatment immediately. There were no other viable PBS-funded treatments available. The only other treatment that may have some success in giving her more time is an immunotherapy drug but it is not covered by PBS, and this means that in order to try the treatment, it would need to be funded by the family. The cost of which is between $4000-6000 per treatment, and she will require fortnightly treatments. This treatment has not been trialled on Joy’s specific cancer, but had significant success with similar cancer types. After 2 months of immunotherapy treatment, the Oncologist will be able to advise if the treatment is having any impact on her cancer’s progression.
Joy has a desire to see her Grandchildren grow up, and has maintained an impressively strong positive attitude which her Oncologist attributes to the responsiveness of her body to treatment thus far, and while bruised, her fighting spirit isn’t beaten yet! Please help us to help her!
DonationsSee top donations
- Sarah Thomson
- Kathie Alonso
- Rhonda Landall
Fundraising team: Joy’s Cheer Squad (3)
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