Claire Houghton was diagnosed with Bowel cancer in early 2012 and shortly after underwent a 7 hour major, open, double surgery to remove the tumour in her bowel as well as 70% of her liver. She then successfully went through a six month course of chemotherapy and was given the "all clear" in August 2013. Unfortunately, only 2 weeks later after crippling back pain, she was told the cancer had returned and a tumour was found at the top of her spine. She was told by the hospital that it was inoperable and all they could offer was a short course of radiotherapy to try to slow its path through her vertebrae and that as soon as it severed her spinal chord she would be paralysed from the neck down.
Friends and family tirelessly researched and managed to find a surgeon that would perform such a complicated procedure. The tumour and Claire's vertebrae had to be removed in two, six hour operations, half to be removed entering from the front of the throat and half to be removed entering her through her back. Claire's vertebrae was then replaced with a metal cage attached to the vertebrae above and below. Just two weeks later Claire walked down the aisle to get married to Joe, her adoring husband and partner of 14 years.
The surgery was followed up by a 30 days of intensive Radiotherapy. Then just before Claire's honeymoon, scans showed that the cancer had returned in the spine and further operations are out of the question, currently Claire battles through fortnightly chemotherapy to try and keep the tumours at bay. The drug Avastin and Claire's amazing positivity means she is doing well and is strong enough to fight on, searching for other options.
Very recently Claire lost one of her best friends, Michaela, to cancer. Michaela was determined to research and find different treatment options which is something Claire would also like to do. In Europe there are more options for cutting edge cancer therapies but they are costly which is why we are trying to help Claire with some of these costs.
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