'I will try anything to save my life' says Leyland mum given six months to live
Mum-of-one Kim Fletcher was last month appealing for donations to fund potentially lifesaving treatment in America and avoid an operation that has a low risk of survival, but she has since been told she may only have six months left to live.
At just 23-years-old, Kim, from Leyland, is set to go through reconstructive surgery here in the UK, in a bid to try and remove the large tumour from her face.
She was given the news that she had Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of tissue cancer that only affects one per cent of the population, back in August - flipping her and her family's lives upside down overnight.
Kim had first thought she was suffering from an ulcer on her face, after noticing a small growth on her cheek that was then left undiagnosed.
And she announced on November 18, that her condition had worsened and that her tumour had grown larger than it was before her traumatic rounds of chemotherapy.
The doctors have now told her that they don't expect her to live past six months, but Kim says she is 'waiting for a miracle' and 'can't accept' that she may have just months left.
Kim is now set to go through a major reconstructive and disfigurement operation, that lasts a minimum of 12 hours and will see doctors use bones from her back to replace the ones removed in her face.
It will leave her face paralysed and was told by doctors that it was 'the best shot', despite still not offering any guarantee of being successful.
She said: "My cancer is growing and is now bigger than it was before chemotherapy. As it stands, the doctor says he doesn’t think I’ll make it past six months.
"Time really isn’t on my side. My full reconstructive surgery is booked in at Blackburn hospital and then they want to try another six cycles of chemotherapy afterwards.
"They can't even give us a one per cent chance. It is all based on probability and maybes. My heart physically hurts, wake me up when this nightmare is all over please."
Kim was hopeful that the rare and aggressive cancer would have gone away with her first treatments of chemotherapy, and then began to crowdfund for donations that could see her undergo treatment across the pond in a bid to save her life.
In August, Kim had been working full-time hours as a care worker and continued to do so until she became unable to, as the chemotherapy started to take away her independence and made her lose her hair and mobility.
And in October, she was handed the heartbreaking advice from doctors that she should start making final memories and bucket lists but, determined to keep fighting, Kim and her family began to raise money that meant she could take alternative treatments that aren't offered in the UK.
However, she has now accepted that she must undergo the reconstructive surgery to try and remove the tumour on November 30.
She said: "It's clear that surgery has to happen regardless, we simply cannot risk waiting any longer on getting this tumour out of me.
"My whole cheek will be removed, along with the bones surrounding which will then be replaced. My face will be left paralysed.
"The doctor tells us that my cancer is unique in many ways and, where a personalised treatment plan would usually be put into place, this just cannot be done for me. It is all trial and error.
"The doctors that I am being assessed by have never dealt with a patient like me in their whole work experience. Knowing there are people out there that can help me and the only thing in the way is money knocks me sick."
If the surgery is successful, Kim is set to go under six further cycles of chemotherapy and thanks to the fundraising, is able to have a private consultation at the Royal Marsden hospital, London.
She says that America 'isn't out of the picture', but that she and her family are remaining realistic as they would need to raise a quarter of a million pounds for treatment.
Last Thursday, November 19, she announced that she will be having privately funded consultations in London with the £10,000 currently raised as part of the fundraiser.
Previously, Kim said: “It’s something that just simply cannot be afforded by me or my family. I may be catching at straws trying to raise this money but I will try anything to save my life."
She hopes to complete her treatment with partner Darren and seven-year-old daughter Maya by her side - but the potential cost of thousands means the family need support to get there.
Donate to Kim's fundraiser here.
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