On 24th December 2021, Christmas Eve, we received the worse news ever, our beautiful mother had been diagnosed with Cancer. From that day our world has been turned upside down and been a living nightmare. Unfortunately, though, doctors were still baffled as to what cancer it was and more importantly how to treat it, as it was so rare, and it is the kind of cancer that lies dormant for years and does not come out until an advanced stage. Previously, my mum had gallstones and had her gallbladder removed, no mass was found then. Then my mum started getting really itchy hands, as it was the first outbreak of covid, she was unable to get an appointment and was advised to send in pictures to the doctors, they kept sending her creams, which was making her hands more sore and enflamed. When after doing research itchy hands is connected to liver cancer and problems. The professionals should of picked up on this. My mum was advised to put gloves on with cream, having to wear this at work at home, it really caused her such distress, she knew something wasn’t right. We all know when something is not right in our bodies. When my mum had the biopsy done, we was even told it was benign, my family was elated, only to be called a few days later to say the result was inconclusive, she then underwent another one with the same result. They was 99.9% sure of what the cancer was but not willing to start treatment until they had an 100% biopsy read. Within this time of waiting around, the mass spread by 5cm.
In April 2022 they finally diagnosed Mum with having bile duct cancer that has spread to the Liver, so she has now has a 9cm mass known as Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma with a not so good prognosis, could be as little as 3-6 months but chemo was offered and started in May this year.
During the gruelling, long and drawn out wait however, we did our own research in relation to the cancer and came to learn about a trial being run at UCLH hospital, who was researching the effects of gene therapy V the traditional chemo method, in patients with this sort of cancer.
She had a biopsy and was told that they would investigate the possibility of finding the affected gene. Meanwhile, the traditional chemo treatment started. But unfortunately, Mum is not coping with the chemo and having terrible side effects, so much so that the doctors have now put her on chemo rest. However, this rare and aggressive cancer is so persistent and wild, that the prognosis is now even worse!
So, to the perhaps good news: UCLH hospital have confirmed that they have identified the affected gene and it is likely that she would be able to have gene therapy. This is much kinder to the body but attacks the cancer directly with the same aggression as chemo. However, this treatment is not available through NHS and is at the cost of £170k for the treatment she needs to have. This treatment is £14,000 per month, we need to try to get 6-12 months worth of this treatment at least, 12 months of treatment would be £170k, whatever we can make, even if it is enough for just 6 months we would be greatful. We understand times are financially hard and we would strongly appreciate anything even if you can only afford a small amount. 
Maria is fifty-eight with three children and from a big Italian family and loved so very much by everyone that meets her. She dedicated her life to looking after children as a childminder and later as nursery manager. She has helped whoever has needed helped and never judged anyone, she is the neighbourhood hero. She is loved by all in the community, 
She is a religious Christian woman who has helped anyone in need. She puts her life in gods hands and her faith with him. 
We can not imagine our lives without her, and we cannot accept the likely fate that she faces. Because time is against us! And we as a family are unable to raise such funds in such a brief time. As a family we have raised money between us to get the treatment started, however as it is such a substantial amount each month, we are reaching out for support. 
So, in hope and desperation we must try, we must believe that by some miracle, and together we can raise the money for this treatment. That she may have a chance to fight to live. That she may be that one person to beat the odds against this awful disease, that she may be the one to show the world that this cancer can be beaten. To give her, to give us and other people with this dreaded disease hope.
In addition to raising the profile for others that may encounter this disease and to encourage NHS in potentially having this treatment available on the NHS. This trial just maybe enough evidence following her trial to show it works giving others the opportunity in the future.
As a family we thank you in advance and we pray that nobody walks in the same shoes as us, because it can only be described as a living nightmare!!
Please help us have the best chance in trying to have our mother treated, help us raise £170k!! Thank you and God bless you all xxx


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Nadia Barry
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