Help me save my mom

My name is Affan and my mom has cancer.

Her name is Afreen Mirza and she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2020 which later turned out to be “triple negative” - a very aggressive kind that doesn’t respond to three of the most effective breast cancer treatments. And it was already stage 3b (stage 4 is incurable). Whatever needed to be done, had to be done quickly.

The doctors decided to give it everything they had. They advised four months of a very aggressive regime of chemotherapy and immunotherapy in the hopes of shrinking the tumour as much as possible before taking it out by surgery. We were forewarned that it was going to be a tough journey as the treatment took a heavy toll on the body. We had no option. We had to go get rid of the cancer and get mom back.

It was a very difficult time but we went through it. Mom decided to keep on working while braving the treatment and its horrible side effects. Being a single mom and the main provider for us, she had no other option. In a way, the lockdown came as a blessing - at least she could work from home instead of commuting daily for which she was rapidly sapped of energy. The treatment was very expensive. She spent her entire savings on the treatment. Fortunately, my uncle, Saalim Mirza who lives in UK, and my aunt Huda Mirza who lives in Saudi Arabia, got together and chipped in to keep us going.

But in July 2020 the doctors broke further bad news. Despite the aggressive therapy shrinking the primary tumour, the cancer had spread into her skin and was now stage 3c - just one step away from stage 4 where it spreads throughout the body.

And now they’re 50-50 about whether or not they can operate on it at all.

For us, another tough battle lies ahead from this point on. Mom now needs further rounds of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy to prolong her life and stop the cancer from converting into stage 4 for as long as possible - whether they decide to operate on it or not.

I'm only 14.  I know I have to be strong. But I'm scared.

I’m her only child and she is all I have. It’s very painful for me to see her go through the effects of the cancer and the therapy. She’s lost her hair, her energy, her thinking powers. She’s in a lot of pain and has to go to the hospital frequently. She has been reduced to a shadow of what she used to be.

And now she has to go through yet more therapy which is very expensive (e.g. one dose of her current immunotherapy - Keytruda - costs nearly $10,000 US dollars per cycle) to contain the cancer.

My mom has now spent all her savings on her treatment and has exhausted her ability to take loans. My uncle and aunt too have reached their capacity to help. They’re all telling me we’re fighting for a cure, but have to be preparing for the worst.

My mom is my everything. I need her in my life. I want her to be with me for as long as possible and see me achieve all that she’s ever dreamt for me.

Please help save my mom by helping us pay for her treatments.

Any amount you can give will help her have one more day with me. God willing.
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Affan Ahmed 
Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom