Cancer woman's fight for new drug

A BRAVE cancer victim fighting inoperable tumours has conceded that she will die unless a massive £30,000 is raised within a matter of months.Friends and family of Marina Hainey have so far raised £4,000 towards paying for drug treatment not yet available on the NHS which could shrink her cancer, enabling surgery to take place.

A BRAVE cancer victim fighting inoperable tumours has conceded that she will die unless a massive £30,000 is raised within a matter of months.

Friends and family of Marina Hainey have so far raised £4,000 towards paying for drug treatment not yet available on the NHS which could shrink her cancer, enabling surgery to take place.

Their desperate attempts to pay for American-licensed drug Avastin has led to the grandmother considering a loan against her Sudbury home. She has also raised her concerns with south Suffolk MP Tim Yeo.

Speaking candidly last night, Mrs Hainey revealed to the EADT how constant rounds of treatment were starting to take their toll on her health but she remained hopeful that the fundraising campaign would prove successful.


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She said: “I have to remain confident - if I just once just turn round and say I can't get up, then I will simply fade away, and I am not for fading. Maybe at the end of the day, this is what will happen but unless I do everything now, I will never know.

“I am weaker and I am finding it a job to walk very far. This is all right when I am in the house, when I can sit down when I need to, but going out is a very different thing.

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“I was such an independent person and when you are used to doing so much by yourself, it makes it even worse.”

Mrs Hainey, 62, who has inoperable liver cancer, is now preparing to start a new three-month cycle of chemotherapy treatment. She wants to raise the £30,000 by the end of that period.

She said: “The campaign is going well and we have raised about £4,000 and I am staying hopeful. I never thought we would raise this much money already - the response has been amazing.

“It was disappointing to learn that the drugs I was on have not worked but I have got over that now. I will be starting another round of treatment and hopefully that will do some good. If nothing else, I'm hoping it will at least keep the cancer at bay.

“I have been told that the only way I can have an operation, and therefore my only chance of survival, is if the drugs can shrink the tumour. That is why I am so desperate to get the drugs or raise enough money to go private.”

Months after a successful operation for bowel cancer, Mrs Hainey - a former nursing auxiliary worker at Sudbury's Walnuttree and St Leonard's hospitals - was told she had tumours in her liver which could not be removed.

Taking a combination of 16 drugs a day, she received faint hope when she watched a television programme promoting the benefits of Avastin.

But this was soon dashed when she was told that the drug was too expensive and would not be reviewed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence - which tests new drugs - for 18 months.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo said: “It is very distressing that Mrs Hainey has to raise her own money to pay for any treatment, particularly when it is cancer.

“It is sometimes puzzling that it can sometime take a long time to decide whether certain treatments should be available through the NHS.

“I profoundly sympathise with Mrs Hainey and I will be raising the issue with the Department of Health.”

Speaking about the case, a spokesman for Suffolk West Primary Care Trust said: “This is a clinical decision by Mrs Hainey's oncologist.

“As such, it is impossible for the PCT to comment upon the clinical reasons behind this decision. A request for this drug has not come before Suffolk West Primary Care Trust.

“If such a request was made it is likely that it would go before the Regional Cancer Network for a decision.”

Anyone who would like to donate some money to the fund should visit www.justgiving.com/marinahainey or send cheques to The Marina Hainey Cancer Treatment Fund, 17 Second Avenue, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 1QX.

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