In January 2018, we got the news no family wants to hear. At 24, Kirstie was diagnosed with malignant melanoma which had already spread to her bones and liver. Kirstie’s melanoma has a BRAF positive gene – which means that the cancer would resist most treatments and spread more rapidly. Kirstie had major surgery straight away to remove a tumour and went on targeted treatment which worked really well for two years.
With monthly blood tests on top of the treatment and scans every four months to make sure everything was going to plan – in October 2019 we were told the cancer had gone. Life had returned to some level of normality!
Fast forward to March 2020: Covid-19 hits and on the week of the national lockdown, we found out that the cancer had reappeared and also spread to Kirstie’s lymph nodes. The treatment that had worked so well for two years was stopped. Instead, she started regular intravenous immunotherapy in the middle of the pandemic
We were able to celebrate Kirstie’s 27th birthday in July, but shortly after, she started to notice problems with her eyesight. After an MRI scan, we were all devastated to find out that the cancer had spread again, and this time was pressing on her optic nerve. On top of everything else Kirstie had fought through, she then had to undergo an incredibly stressful and intense targeted round of radiotherapy.
After Covid caused delays in her routine scans, Kirstie’s story reaches December 2020. After waiting weeks for results, we found out on the 14th December that the cancer had progressed further, and as a result her treatment was withdrawn. This left her with no other treatment options available through the NHS.
This is where your help can make a real difference:
Two potentially life-changing treatments, Encorafenib and Binimetinib, are available privately and cost upwards of £100,000 per year.
It’s been a difficult year for so many people, but if this year has shown us all anything, it’s the generosity and strength of communities. If you are able to donate pennies or pounds, this can help give us more time together as a family and help raise awareness into melanoma.
Thank you for taking the time to read Kirstie’s story. Every donation to our fundraiser would mean the world to us and we would like to thank you all so much.
If you are able and would like to help Kirstie, then please visit:https://www.gofundme.com/f/kirstieswish-help-kirstie-fight-cancer