'Beseeching' Hornchurch mum needs £120k to fight rare cancer so she can spend more time with family

Janna Clark

Jay, Janna, Bonnie and George - Credit: Janna Clark

A Hornchurch-born mother who had to have an eye removed to treat a rare cancer hopes a new therapy will buy her more time with her family - but she needs £120,000 to pay for it.

Janna Clark, who recently moved to Norfolk with her partner Jay Wyatt, 43, and their two children Bonnie, 14, and George, 10, has so far raised more than £38,400 towards her target. 

It all started when her youngest George, at just three years old, started three years of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  

Janna said: “Hand on my heart, you don’t expect it to happen to you and that’s got to be one of the worst things to happen, so it was just horrendous.”

George in hospital

George in hospital while he was battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - Credit: Janna Clark

But just one day before George was given the all-clear, Janna was told she had ocular melanoma - a rare eye cancer.

The former hairdresser said: “It was in Christmas 2017 that I started getting bad headaches and feeling dizzy, and I had blurred vision, but I was convinced it was all different things.”  

After being referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital, Janna said the situation “escalated” and she received the eye cancer diagnosis, which led to a few unsuccessful treatments.  

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In 2018 Janna had to have her eye removed. Although it meant Janna was then cancer free, she did undergo multiple operations over the next two years to fix problems arising from the operation.   

But later, in February 2021, the 40-year-old was told by St Bartholomew's Hospital that her cancer had spread to her liver.

Despite several rounds of immunotherapy, the rare cancer remained.

Janna Clark

Janna after having her eye removed - Credit: Janna Clark

Janna was recommended chemosaturation therapy, but it isn’t currently available on the NHS and can cost between £40,000 to £50,000 for each round - of which Janna needs three.

Chemosaturation therapy treats liver cancer through a procedure which can last between three to five hours under general anaesthetic.  

It temporarily seals the liver from the body’s blood circulation, allowing targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs at more concentrated doses than systemic chemotherapy, according to HCA Healthcare.  

Having more time with her family spurred Janna on to try and raise the £120,000 needed for the treatment, ideally by January next year.  

So far, more than £38,400 has been raised from 811 supporters.  

On her JustGiving page, Janna wrote: “I am beseeching all of you out there to please, please help me even if it's just £1 and you share my story on, I'm confident I'll get near my target." 

She said: “So far it’s been amazing and it’s incredible, but I’ve still got a long way to go.” 

Janna Clark

Janna before she had to have her eye removed - Credit: Janna Clark

Fundraisers are also being held in aid of Janna’s treatment, with a raffle selling tickets for £10 each raising more than £18,700 so far.  

The raffle prizes include a Boodles diamond pendant, Apple MacBook Air M2 and 2020 England rugby shirt signed by the whole team. 

Janna said: “It’s been an overwhelming feeling and touches you on such a deep level.  

“It’s just incredible and I’m blown away.”  

She added: “If anyone thinks ‘what’s the point?’, I’d love for them to think, if you had the opportunity to buy more time with your family, that’s what you’re going to do.”  

Janna Clark

Janna is hoping to raise £120,000 by January next year so she can afford chemosaturation - Credit: Janna Clark

The 40-year-old said “panic” does sometimes creep up on her at night, but she is trying to live in the present. 

Despite having experienced moments of despair, she urged anyone in the same position “not to fall apart as there are some amazing, kind people out there”.  

She said: "Try not to despair, I have had my moments.

"You feel like there's no way out, but research everything, and know that it's important to allow yourself to cry.

"The main thing is not to give up." 

Donate to Janna's fundraiser at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/janna

Enter the raffle at: https://app.galabid.com/helpingjanna.