This picture was taken in December 2015, I don't look ill at all, right?..... In October 2015 I was diagnosed with terminal stage 4b inoperable cervical cancer, given a prognosis of 1-2 years . Was now considered palliative care..... A massive shock to say the very least, I'm only just gone 41 years of age in the above pic..... It was news I wasn't expecting or ever wanted to hear....
I had chemo, radiotherapy and avastin and was responding extremely well to treatment up until last May where a new tumour was found. I have just completed the very last radiation course that I can have as have now reached the maximum limit... This was beyond harsh, so very tough on the body with awful side effects that I continue to deal with on a daily basis.
My options now are very limited as I have had the standard care for this disease which consists of chemo, radiation and avastin - all of which have now been exhausted. I am trying to get access to a new drug called pembrolizumab which the FDA has just approved in the U.S. for cervical cancer.... unfortunately it's not licenced in Ireland - I am trying to lobby to get this covered for all cervical cancer patients in Ireland but unfortunately these issues take time and time is really not on my side...
The only way I can access it is to pay for it... at a cost of over 8500 every 3 WEEKS, it is a very expensive drug. Obviously I cannot afford to cover the cost of this, it's gonna run into hundreds of thousands..... it's crazy money- absolutely ridiculous so I am also looking into clinical trials for other immunotherapy drugs in Europe and the US, although gaining access to these is next to impossible so I am concentrating my efforts on getting pembro.
Being ill is a very costly business as we all know, the regular bills keep coming in like clockwork.... Now I have the added extras with medical costs, drugs, getting to and from appointments etc - an ever growing list.....Funds raised will be used for this immunotherapy drug, for further treatments both medical and holistic, for any extras that incur involving my treatment also....
I wish there was another way and feel very uncomfortable with this but have no other choice.... As this really will be my last option treatment wise I have to ask for your support......If you can afford the price of your favourite coffee or 10 euro.... or five....... every little helps..... I am on very borrowed time, a walking miracle so far according to the docs but I need your support.....
I have a page on Facebook "Aine" that is a personal blog and it will keep you all updated on my illness.....
A million "THANK You's" to each and every one of you for your support,
Love and eternal gratitude,
- Kevin Mc Kenna
- TOPFORM LTD PAUL GLYNN
- Melissa Woods