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Help Vanessa Beat Cancer

Cause page created in the Health category by Narelle Ahrens for Vanessa Harris

$55,731 of $85,000 goal
Given by 440 generous donors in around 4 months

Vanessa has aggressive stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She needs an unfunded drug to beat it and live to raise her two little children.

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In November last year Vanessa developed rapidly concerning symptoms that were difficult to diagnose. After 4 months and just after her 36th birthday, she was diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer. During those 4 months the cancer had spread to her axillary lymph nodes. Her oncologist told her that her cancer was very large, it was inoperable, and could be very difficult to shrink.

As the country went into level 4 lockdown she underwent 3 months of chemotherapy (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) whilst homeschooling and caring for her beautiful 4yr old daughter and 8yr old son. None of her family could be in her bubble to help at the time, and her husband couldn’t even go with her to the hospital during treatment. With the first 4 cycles of chemotherapy and minimal response, and with no private health insurance, her oncologist recommended she try to find $34,000 to add an unfunded drug, Perjeta, into the next regime of Herceptin and Paclitaxel. It was her best chance to shrink the cancer to allow for surgery.

Vanessa and Matt struggled to scrape together the money needed but was supported by money from family, friends, and a fundraiser concert to fund the extra drug. Thankfully, the drug seemed to work and results after her mastectomy showed her cancer had shrunk by 95%. Unfortunately, surgery revealed that two lymph nodes that were removed, still had deposits of cancer in them. Her oncologist has told her that, as a result, there is still a chance of the cancer returning and if it does, it could be incurable.

Vanessa is currently undergoing radiotherapy and will have more Herceptin but her best chance now to beat the cancer properly and prevent it re-occuring, is to switch from Herceptin to a recommended drug that's not currently funded for residual cancer, called Kadcyla costing $85,000. Their hope now is to find a way to raise money to help pay for the drug in order to better secure Vanessa’s future.

Our little sister is the most beautiful person. Kind, generous, and strong. Never one to draw attention to herself, but quietly taking care of everyone around her. When she worked as a pharmacy technician, she would deliver medicines out of hours to the elderly and terminal patients, sitting with them when they were lonely or afraid. Now she is that mum who's always ready to support others, whether its a meal for someone in need, or someone just to listen. She is one of those incredible mums who would do anything for her children, and who gives her heart, energy and sunshine to all the communities around her. She is the glue that holds her family together.

Asking for support is not in Vanessa or Matt’s nature. They have shown such strength this year, coping quietly amid uncertain times and knowing that so many people are finding life tough right now. But they can’t do this next bit alone, so we are asking for help on their behalf. If you can, please help her keep on being the incredible Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend that she is to all of us.

Narelle Ahrens' involvement (page creator)

Narelle Ahrens & Demelza Campbell

We are Vanessa’s sisters. We love her beyond words and would do anything to help her get through this.

Use of funds

The funds will help cover the costs of the unfunded medical drug Kadcyla from Pharmac.

Latest update

Friends Kind Requests  15 February 2021

Posted by: Narelle Ahrens

Hi there lovely people, we just wanted to let you know we have been approached by several friends asking us to extend Vanessa's fundraising page in order to give them time to make the donation they had wanted to make. So we have moved the closing date to the end of February should you want to share this with any of your networks. Thank you so much for all your kindness and support, and your messages of strength and love on this challenging journey! Take care, stay safe and well, lots of love from all of us xxx

Read 4 more updates  |  Share this update

Latest donations

Ange on 18 Feb 2021
Kim on 17 Feb 2021
Thinking of you lovely lady xx
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Feb 2021
All our best wishes and love, from a Kowhai class family
Dianne on 16 Feb 2021
Wishing you all the best in your recovery and beating this ❤️
Julie on 10 Feb 2021
Praying for your complete healing, in Jesus Mighty Name...

Who's involved?

Narelle Ahrens's avatar
Created by Narelle Ahrens
Vanessa Harris's avatar
Paying to a verified bank account of Vanessa Harris

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This page was created on 8 Nov 2020 and closes on 28 Feb 2021.
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