Hi, I’m Jacqueline, an ordinary mum, with an extraordinary story.
I live in London with my young family, including twin girls of 10, and my 6 year old daughter.
I found out by chance that I had pancreatic cancer, the kind they pick up when it’s already too late. 80% of people with this will be dead in a year, and only 10% might qualify for surgery. Only 1% at stage 4 will live for 5 years.
A year ago I was offered surgery, but they stopped when they found a problem with a lymph node. Despite this I was offered repeat surgery this February, but by April, having been off chemo several months because of delays and Covid, I was told that the tiny lesions on my lungs were metastatic, so they cancelled the surgery. This condemns me to chemotherapy only and a likely early death.
I’ve been following alternative treatments since the spring, as I can’t sit back and do nothing, but with a big family, and unable to work due to illness, it is proving almost impossible to fund the £700 I have to spend each week. So far, I have raised an amount of money, through a generous network of community and friends, which was keeping my cancer stable. But the funds are running out, and each scan shows a change which drags me closer to a precipice of no return.
Since the spring, lesions have continued to grow which tells me I’m not doing enough. There is a specialist oncology treatment available in the west coast of the USA, which could extend my life dramatically, giving me a few more years. But I would need to raise around £75,000 to commit to that, and no means to raise it.
I can’t imagine telling my 6 year old that we'll have to say goodbye before the end of the school year, or indeed any of my other children.
If 10,000 people were to give even £10, my struggle for funds would be over. However without donations from wonderful anonymous people, my life will - instead - be over
Without proactive and expensive treatment Jacqueline will die much sooner than expected, as the only route left open is chemotherapy, Her options of travelling abroad to the USA for more radical treatments are lost with the recent Covid-19 disaster. She will be considered for overseas treatment when lockdown ends in the UK.
Pancreatic cancer is regarded as the most dismal of cancers - a silent, stealthy killer. There is no screening test, and it is often only discovered at late stages. 80% survive 6 -12 months (or less) and 5% may make 5 years. There is no cure, but long term survivors are out there, regardless. Jacqueline could be one of these survivors.
When diagnosed, in typical style Jacqueline began fundraising for others, and has now given 2 charity concerts to raise money for Chai Cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, PCUK and the Royal Free Oncology and Surgical charities (supported by the incredible Prof Kito Fusai).
For over a year Jacqueline travelled up to Scotland every few weeks - between all her hospital treatments - to help her elderly parents, both of whom became ill within a few months of each other. Her mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and her father suffered terribly from the aggressive variant of Motor Neurone Disease [ALS]. This was shortly before Jacqueline's own terminal diagnosis, and they subsequently died late in 2019, which has had a dramatic impact on her.
Now its time for others to reach out and please help her. What greater gesture of compassion can there be than to know you could help save a life?
We really need to raise these funds to support her in ongoing treatments, and to allow her to have more time with her family.
Please, please help if you can, this incredible selfless and giving lady, and let her share some extra milestones with her children.
She has also been writing her candid and inspiring column From the Front Line for the Jewish Weekly for over a year and they have endorsed this appeal for her.
You can follow her through the Weekly (also available online) and her online blog, whenallissaidanddone, which shares her amazing journey, in a no holds barred, and typical humerous style.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. xxx
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- B T Kohn
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