Approve vital chemotherapy treatment for Christina Harris rejected by NHS funding
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Christina was just 43 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2015 caused by immunosuppressive drug Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept) which she has been administered for over 30 years after receiving three kidney transplants throughout her life, the first transplant being at just 15 years old after her kidney began to fail at 10 years old however doctors failed to detect this until the age of 14.
Her most recent transplant was from a live donor, her father, who very bravely donated his kidney to her in 2005.
While in Spain she was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and was given just 3 weeks to live if she were to refuse treatment, she considered whether the toxicity of the chemotherapy would damage her kidney however with the severity of the cancer diagnosis she considered treatment.
Her team of Oncologists (cancer specialists) and Nephrologists (kidney specialists) worked incredibly hard together to formulate a careful plan of treatment to reduce any damage to her fragile kidney - so she then proceeded to have life saving chemotherapy and radiotherapy to reduce the 8cm tumour found on her lung and in her lymph nodes in her neck, where miraculously against all odds she was told she was in remission in 2016 after receiving her final session of radiotherapy on her 44th birthday.
Unfortunately in 2017 after a routine scan she was told that the cancer had returned, she was then administered the chemotherapy drug Permetrexed which was vital in keeping the cancer at bay while doing minimal damage to her kidney, this was successful in keeping the cancer 'dormant' where she then returned to the UK to be with her family.
Upon returning to the UK she has not received any kind of treatment until last week where she was given a 'one off' session of radiotherapy to ease the pain of one of the tumours in her neck which is currently pressing against a major nerve causing permanent pain throughout her body (the tumour on the other side of her neck is pressing against a major artery connected to her brain, however no treatment was given for this)
The NHS have told her that they would not fund Permetrexed however it would be put to The NHS England IFR Panel for consideration, however this morning after 3 months of waiting she received a letter to inform her that the decision was not to refer the decision to the panel. We believe that after everything she has been through and against all odds she is still here fighting she deserves at least the chance for her case to be examined by the panel and cannot understand why she isn't given this fair chance of consideration.
Throughout her treatment it has always been incredibly important that the drugs chosen to treat the cancer don't harm her kidney in any way hence the importance of the drug Permetrexed.
We are desperately hoping that through this petition and through publicity the NHS will reconsider and allow her case to be sent to the panel and hopefully have this treatment approved for funding. Not only that but to stand up for anyone who has ever been denied the chance of life changing treatment already available on the NHS.
We are not looking for any kind of funding just for the potential chance for her treatment to be re-considered which we believe could be achieved by the power of the people!
She has been offered an alternative synthetic 'copy' drug similar to permatrexed at a cost of £1500 per session however we believe that this is an expensive gamble we cannot afford to risk.
She has been told that a letter detailing the reasons for the decision made has been sent to her consultant that she has an appointment with this Wednesday 19th September - once this information has been received we will add the details to this petition.
For every single signature and 'share' on social media we thank you from the bottom of our hearts as this could be one step closer to getting Tina the treatment she deserves! Anybody who knows her or has had the chance to meet her will know how incredibly positive she is and always has been despite everything that has stood in her way in life, so please help us, in her fight for life!
We love you all x
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