Co Down mum's joy after £140k donated for daughter Rachel Osborne's cancer treatment
[Sept. 20, 2020: Lauren Harte]
A Co Down mum has said she is overwhelmed after more than £140,000 was raised in just four days to help her daughter take part in a drugs trial for cancer treatment.
Rachel Osborne (18) from Bangor saw her world turned upside down in mid-July when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of spinal cancer.
She has since undergone intensive surgery and treatment.
Back in February she began suffering from a sore back which she initially put down to a pulled muscle from spending a lot of time at the gym.
After suffering reduced power in her right leg and subsequent foot drop during the Covid-19 lockdown, Rachel contacted her GP who then referred her to an orthopaedic surgeon.
Rachel was sent for an MRI scan when a tumour inside her spinal cord was discovered.
Within days she underwent emergency spinal surgery after which she was given the most devastating news.
The teenager was diagnosed with a diffuse midline glioma, a malignant and fast-growing tumour, for which there is currently no cure.
At the time Rachel had just finished her final year at school and was excited at the prospect of leaving home to study Anatomy at the University of Glasgow.
Two months on from the shock diagnosis, her mum Susanne and other family members began a fundraising bid for other treatment options.
Rachel now hopes to travel to the United States as soon as possible to participate in a life-prolonging drugs trial.
"Victims of this tumour have a very short life expectancy from diagnosis and therefore we are looking at every option available to potentially prolong Rachel's life as much as possible," Susanne explained.
"While Rachel is currently undertaking six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, this route of treatment can only be taken once, so therefore we are looking at further emerging treatment options.
"We need to raise funds to allow Rachel to take part in a clinical trial in America using a new drug which is unfortunately not available on the NHS.
"This drug has shown promising signs from previous data and therefore has given us a glimmer of hope that Rachel could potentially fulfil her dream of going to university."
Paying tribute to her "vivacious and fun-loving" youngest daughter, Susanne added: "She always thinks of everyone else but now is the time where we are asking family and friends to help Rachel.
"We want to do everything in our power to help her, so any donations to support her treatment in America would be hugely appreciated and we can't thank you all enough for the support."
The family launched a GoFundMe page just last week which had already reached over £140,000 in donations within four days through hundreds of generous donations.
Susanne said she and Rachel have been overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and support from people - both friends and strangers - at this most difficult time for the family.
Donations can be made to Rachel's campaign here by visiting her fundraising page.
This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of Belfast Telegram.
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