Crowdfunding appeal for terminally ill mother raises more than £18,000 in hours

Melanie Kennedy
Melanie Kennedy

Terminally-ill mother Melanie Kennedy has told of her relief that a Crowdfunding appeal to pay privately for new cancer treatment "now makes it available for me".

The Bangor mum-of-two said she was left having to "beg for her life" in a bid to receive a life-prolonging drug that could give her more time with her young sons.

A crowdfunding appeal launched for the 40-year-old - who has been battling breast cancer and the so-called NHS postcode lottery for drugs for four years - one day ago has already raised more than £18,000.

Melanie hopes to now be prescribed a drug called Kadcyla, which is available on the NHS in Scotland, but is only offered privately here at a cost of around £20,000. The cancer medication could potentially slow down the progress of the disease and offer Melanie a longer life.

Speaking today from her north Down home, Ms Kennedy said her main hope is to spend more time with her two sons Josh (16) and five-year-old AJ.

She spoke as she waited for a medic to call her about being prescribed Kadcyla.

The fundraising so far

The fundraising so far

"I am feeling much better about the whole situation today," she said. "I am waiting to find out when the first dose will be in and how much it is.

"I definitely have (money) enough there I would say for the first couple of doses. I think it is £4000 per cycle and that is every three weeks.

"It will be an IV drug and I have just asked on one of my support groups about it and they told me the side effects are nothing like the side effects I had with chemotherapy. So to be honest I am looking forward to getting it because I should have a good quality of life on it as well."

She said the "last four years have been very difficult". "I was told I was terminal in January 2014."

Melanie and her boys

Melanie and her boys

She added: "My latest scan showed slight progression so there was no point in putting myself through the drug I was on then any more," she said.

"But in literally 24 hours (of fund raising) there is enough for four treatments. It is phenomenal. At one stage it was coming in at more than £1000 an hour. It is not even the money it is the messages of support from people. I am in tears, good tears of joy because of the support I have received.

"Cancer does touch every family."

To help Melanie click here