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Help me teach cancer a lesson!!

Closed Cause page created in the Health category by Debra Schofield-Matthews

$16,760 of $70,000 goal
Given by 140 generous donors in around 6 months

I need to raise funds to pay for treatment for Metastatic breast cancer.

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Four years ago, I got the news that I had breast cancer. I jumped through all the hoops to try to eliminate the cancer and reduce the risk of it returning. This involved surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. At the end of the year it was deemed successfully treated and so I dubbed this my own annus horribilis and hoped this would be the end of the story. Unfortunately, last year I started getting pain in my hip. The doctors were all quite confident that it was nothing too serious, I was sent for an x-ray, which seemed fine, and was put on pain killers, given crutches and sent to a physio. I had physio treatment for several months, but things didn’t seem to be improving so I was sent to a specialist who thought it was cartilage damage and so he sent me for an MRI. Unfortunately, this showed that the results were not at all what they expected to find, it was Metastatic breast cancer and had returned in the form of bone cancer and was throughout my body.

Through it all, the hardest thing was having to tell my wonderful daughter just before her twelfth birthday that my cancer had returned. She had coped with the situation amazingly the first time round and is doing so again this time round. She is a very private person though and didn’t want people to know what she was going through or to treat her any differently, so we kept it all very quiet and went on with our lives as normally as we possibly could.

I was recommended to take Ibrance as part of my treatment for the cancer. Unfortunately, the NZ health system does not fund this drug and it is costing me $6200 per month. Once I have paid for 11 sessions of this drug it then becomes funded. This means that the total cost of this treatment will be nearly $70 000. I decided that, particularly with my daughter the age she was, I wanted to have the treatment and so we began paying for the drugs.

I am working towards my main goal of ensuring that I am able to see my daughter grow into the amazing woman that I know she is going to be. I have been able to continue working which is great as I am lucky enough to have a job that enables me to do what I love. This is teaching mathematics (the best subject!). The girls I teach have been great, although they haven’t known exactly what my health issues were, till now, they know that I am not as mobile as I was and so have adapted brilliantly to ensure that my classroom is still a great learning environment for them.

Any help with the cost towards these drugs would be so greatly appreciated. From myself and my daughter, thank you!

Use of funds

Funds will be used to pay for all treatment and drugs (Ibrance).

Latest update

Thanks for the amazing support  29 August 2019

Posted by: Debra Schofield-Matthews

I want to thank everyone for their generous donations, I really appreciate every one, every little helps!

An update for you is that I just had a scan and it looks like the drugs are doing their job as the cancer does not appear to have any new growth which was great. It is very hard having to rely on others to help me pay for these drugs so it is really good to see that they do seem to be making a difference.

I have really appreciated the fact that I have been able to continue teaching my classes as normal. The girls have been great – not skipping a beat.

Thanks again to you all

Debra, Nigel and Anna

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Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 26 Dec 2019
Jen on 23 Dec 2019
Wishing a very Merry Christmas to Debra, Nigel, Anna, and all our other Wellington relatives! Love from Jen, Ian and all the other Melbourne animals xoxo
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Dec 2019
Christine on 05 Dec 2019
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 29 Nov 2019
I will always remember your kindness and belief in me, hope you're doing well. Maths is the best subject!

Who's involved?

Debra Schofield-Matthews's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Debra Schofield-Matthews

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This page was created on 30 Jul 2019 and closed on 30 Jan 2020.
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