Mum's petition to prevent young cancer deaths after losing daughter
- Credit: Ramesh Waltho-Brar
A mum whose daughter died from cancer after visiting doctors more than 10 times before her late diagnosis is petitioning for a change in practice to prevent future deaths.
Dhneep Bains, from Rowhedge, Colchester, complained of foot pain and other symptoms nearly a dozen times from March 2017, before being diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma of the pelvis and a secondary growth on the lung in early 2018.
Neepy — as she was known to friends and family — was just 26 when she died in July 2020 after 26 rounds of chemotherapy and eight weeks of radiotherapy at University College London Hospital.
Her mum, Ramesh Waltho-Brar, has started a petition in the hope that it creates real change and prevents other families losing young adults to cancer.
"No-one should ever find themselves in the position my dear daughter and my family did," said Mrs Waltho-Brar.
"People are needlessly losing their lives to this disease and will continue to do so if change doesn’t take place.
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"The starting point for that begins here with increased awareness amongst young people and healthcare professionals so diagnosis can happen much earlier.
“An earlier diagnosis could have given us so much more time together as a family, making more memories and giving Neepy the opportunity to experience all the things a young person should.”
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The petition includes several ideas for how healthcare professionals can prevent cases like Neepy's from happening again.
For example, if pain symptoms continue after three or four GP visits, referrals should be made for X-rays, scans and MRIs to avoid late cancer diagnosis, the petition suggests.
Mrs Waltho-Brar added: “Neepy has always been a very bubbly person. Full of life, always going out and very independent.
"For the first time in my life as a mother, I had no control in making her better or taking this illness away from her — nothing else mattered other than getting Neepy better."
The petition also raises concerns about how the coronavirus pandemic affected care, meaning many patients were diagnosed with cancer later than they would have been.
To sign the Change.org petition, click here.