Harold Hill family in cancer drug appeal
PUBLISHED: 09:38 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:43 08 August 2014
The family of a terminally ill mum are doing all they can to raise the £2,500 needed each fortnight to keep her on a life-prolonging drug not funded by the NHS.
Carly Lovett, of Broseley Gardens, Harold Hill, was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago and has been given months to live.
The 31-year-old has been told the drug Avastin is now the only treatment option left to allow her to spend more time with her seven-month-old son Joshua.
However, this drug is not available on the NHS for the treatment of brain tumours.
Carly’s mum, Lesley Giodarno, 54, said: “I feel that it is down to the NHS whether my daughter lives or dies.
“The doctors and nurses have been absolutely brilliant with Carly, but it just breaks my heart.”
The family are fundraising to pay for the former teacher’s treatment.
Earlier this week, Carly’s stepmum, Emma Hamblett, 43, raised more than £700 swimming with sharks in London Aquarium.
She said: “I was lying in bed thinking my poor beautiful Carly is facing the biggest fear of her life, so I thought, ‘What is mine?’”
Avastin will be available to Carly until it stops working or the family’s funds are exhausted.
Carly’s husband, David, 31, said: “She has had seven lots of treatments and we are running out of money.”
Scans have confirmed that the treatment is working as intended by cutting off the blood supply to the tumour.
Mrs Giodarno said: “It’s not going to cure her, but if it prolongs her life and gives her another three months, that is three months with her husband and child.
“How can they say once you’ve got no money that’s it?”
David, who has given up his job as a plumber to care for Carly, added: “If the rules can’t be changed for her then they should be changed for other people.
“It is working for her, so even if there is a slim chance for anybody to live a bit longer, then I hope it will be funded someday.”
Lauren Dixon, 31, of Upminster, first appeared in the Recorder more than a year ago when she was fundraising for the same drug.
“I hear it so much now, and every time it breaks my heart for the person and their family,” she said.
“A young mother with a tiny baby deserves to at least try this drug to see if it works.”
A spokesman for NHS England (London) said that advisory body the Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group has not found evidence to support the use of Avastin to treat adult patients with progressive brain tumours at this time.
Carly and David, who celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary last week, are overwhelmed by the support they have received from the community.
“We say thank you every time we get anything from anybody, but we can’t thank everyone enough,” David said.
To donate and to see fundraising events visit the Carly Bush (Lovett) Fundraiser Facebook page.