A BRAVE Irish woman who has been battling a rare form of cancer for nearly three years must now raise £140,000 to access vital treatment as the "ticking time bomb" disease is spreading.
Laura Anderson (nee Gilmore) was diagnosed with a rare and incurable neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer in 2020.
The 35-year-old, who hails from Longford, but now lives in Edinburgh with her husband Paul Anderson, previously received treatment at the Hope4Cancer Clinic in Cancun, Mexico.
There she underwent immunotherapy and specific protocols with the hope of stabilising the disease and preventing further progression.
Through the ongoing support and generous donations of friends and family, Laura was able to purchase the necessary equipment to continue her protocol at home in Edinburgh and, until recently, it had proven to be effective in stabilising her main neuroendocrine tumour.
However, last year the cancer spread to Laura’s liver and lymphatic system, which saw the young Irishwoman undertake peptide receptor radionuclide (PRRT) therapy in Glasgow under the care of her NET specialist team.
And in December an emergency CT scan showed extensive growths to lesions on Laura’s liver, which had previously been stable.
This concerning development has seen Laura and her family renew their ongoing fundraising campaign to support her treatment in order to fly her back to Mexico for specialist alternative therapy.
In a post on the Go Fund Me fundraising site, Laura’s friend Laura McKeen explains: “Time is now of the essence to try and do everything we can to get Laura the treatment she so desperately needs and deserves.
“At present, we are looking into further immunotherapy treatment in Mexico and Germany.
“One of which is the Williams Cancer Institute in Mexico, which has ongoing studies and treatment options available, including intra-tumoral immunotherapy for Laura, but with a starting cost of £140,000.”
A range of fundraising events have been planned to help with the emergency fundraising, including a Help Laura Heal fancy dress party which will take place in Edinburgh on March 31. Tickets are available here.
Ms Anderson, who claims her diagnosis feels "like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode while the cancer is creepily spreading around my body”, is hopeful that the alternative treatment available in Mexico and Germany will give her the best possible change of surviving.
“My biggest and oldest dream has always been to have children,” she said.
“I met my prince charming, we got married and were planning our future and family.
“Now our future looks to be very different but I’m not going to let that spoil my dreams. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
For further information or to make a donation to Laura’s fundraising campaign click here.