September 18 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Blewett, Reporter
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Cancer sufferer Lauren Dixon would not be caring for her two children today if it was not for the fundraising of friends and family and the generosity of Recorder readers.
Lauren has now raised around £80,000 for life-sustaining drugs a year after the paper featured the Upminster mum’s “Marvellous Medicine” campaign and national publicity grew.
Lauren, now 31, beat breast cancer but, three years later, was diagnosed with malignant tumours in her liver and spine in 2011.
The NHS “refused” to pay for the drug to keep her alive and expected her to live for no more than 18-months.
But through expensive private healthcare Lauren has undergone five months of a combination of drug Avastin and chemotherapy, which has gone “really well”, and she is in a stable condition.
“All I ask is for as long as possible to bring up my two children. They deserve a mummy and a daddy and shouldn’t have to compromise,” she said.
Husband John, 39, is the “rock” to Lauren and her “super” children Ellie, nine, and Joshua, seven, but she admits his cleaning is not yet up to her standards.
Lauren added: “I don’t want this to be the last six-weeks holiday I spend with them. Everything we do together makes me shed a silent tear and I question myself ‘is this the last time we’ll do this?’
“If it was down to the NHS, I certainly wouldn’t be here now. So it’s thanks to all of the wonderful people who fundraised that I’m still here.
“Without each and every single person doing their bit, I wouldn’t be here now. I am so very lucky that these people felt I was a good enough cause to help. It means the world and more to me. Words won’t ever be enough to thank them all but we are truly grateful.”
The Dixons are currently taking a break from fundraising.
NHS England, which operates the Cancer Drugs Fund that pays for drugs like Avastin, said: “It is available to patients who meet a set of criteria, which are there to ensure that these specialised drugs are used in cases where they will be most effective.”