Recently Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by a local resident who brought this story to his attention regarding a local woman and her battle against cancer. Jon is in full support of the family and hopes that even in these hard times people will do all they can to help the them.
Here is Lauren Dixon's story:
For those of you who don't know me I'm Lauren, just turned 30 and have 2 beautiful children, Ellie (8) & Joshua (6). I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008 aged just 25 whilst still breastfeeding Joshua but with the love and support of my husband John, we won the fight. Life changed a lot for us then, and it gives everything a whole new perspective. Our lives were turned upside down.
Around 19 months ago I was re-diagnosed with cancer which had spread to my liver & spine and I was given the awful prognosis of 'terminal cancer' and a 'shelf life' of 12-18 months! Throughout my battle, all of my treatment has been paid for by our private (and very expensive) insurance policy, which costs as much as a small mortgage and John works every hour god sends to pay for it. I spent a year on a chemo regime that included a drug called Taxol, and the 'miracle' drug that is Avastin. Taxol works by hitting the tumours, and Avastin backs it up by killing any blood/food supply. This worked wonders for me, and shrunk all tumours down to almost nothing. I had to take a break from this treatment for 2 reasons. 1) My insurance company will only fund 1 year of Avastin (as it is a biological therapy) 2) My body needed to recoup.
Sadly within 10 weeks I had relapsed and the cancer had become active in my liver again. Since then I have tried various other regimes which haven't worked at all and the cancer is now rapidly building back up in my liver... Which brings me back to Avastin. After a discussion with my oncologist, we agreed that time and options are running out. A request was put in to the NHS for an individual funding allowance for them to pay for Avastin for me. My private healthcare will fund everything else, but due to my contract not Avastin (To date they have funded over £300k of treatment for me - in effect saved the NHS that amount). After waiting over a month and with my health rapidly deteriorating, the NHS have thrown a huge document at us stating that for them to even consider funding me I will have to re apply as an NHS patient and have advised that I 'don't tick the right boxes for funding' so it will take 28 days to say no, and by the time I've appealed I’ll no longer be here to re-appeal.
It's a harsh, cruel world when I've paid into the NHS my whole life and they will refuse £21,000 per year to keep me alive. However, the story of my life, and the words I’ve heard far too often 'you don't tick the right boxes' have been used yet again. The NHS pay a heavily reduced rate for the drug I need, my insurance company pay around £5k per month for the exact drug and so will I if the funds are raised.
So, there you go.... I do hope that made a little sense and you understand why I am desperate to raise the funds to go ahead and start this treatment before it's too late. I am unsure as to how much it will cost exactly, but to allow me to start I've been advised I would need to fund 5 months treatment at least to give me any chance of responding so around £25,000 just to begin...
**On the 14th May I saw my oncologist who confirmed that the current chemo regime isn't working for me. My liver functions have worsened, my tumour levels have risen and therefore changes need to be made rapidly. As I don't have the funding for Avastin at this moment, it isn't an option at all. So, we have agreed to try a different chemo regime and hope that it works (or at least holds the cancer at bay and buys me some time whilst finding the required amount to re-start Avastin). I won't give up hope, and although deep down know that I have almost exhausted the list of treatments to try, I am ready to step up the fight knowing that so many of you wonderful people are behind us**
I feel like I'm asking the whole world to raise such a huge amount of money. It seems such a lot, and then every day I look at my babies and tell them that mummy is going to be ok when deep down I know that I'm not. They have the Best Daddy in the world, but that isn't enough… At the moment, they are too young to realise, and unaware of just how poorly I am, but John knows and has to not only contemplate life without me as a person, but also face the harsh reality that he will eventually become Mummy & Daddy (and everything in between). Not only does he work a full time job, he comes home to look after us all and take over the jobs that I can no longer do (pretty damn well to be honest). A cancer diagnosis does not just affect 1 person, it ruins lives, families and takes away everything; every second, minute, hour and day. Every moment that I can spend with my children means more than I could ever put into words and so, as a family we thank every single one of you for taking the time to read this, share this page and for all of your kind donations. Love from the bottom of our hearts.
Lauren, John, Ellie & Joshua Dixon xxxx
You have now read Laurens story and over 2000 others all from around the Dagenham & Upminster area are trying to raise funds for Laurens medical cause by hosting a variety of occasions such as a charity ball, quiz nights, fun runs etc.
Donations can be made through PayPal into Laurensmarvellousmedicine@outlook.com a bank account is also currently being open.
You can also view Lauren's story on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LaurensMarvellousMedicine?fref=ts
Please help in any way that you can