Primary teacher in cancer appeal

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

An appeal has been launched to raise £130,000 to send a primary school teacher to America for potentially life-saving brain tumour treatment.

Melissa Huggins, 27, of Staines, south-west London, is battling a cancerous brain tumour for the second time.

Doctors have told Miss Huggins her tumour is inoperable and a form of treatment not available in Britain is her best hope of survival.

Miss Huggins’ fiance, family and friends have raised £20,000 so far.

Melissa’s Fighting Fund is hosting a range of events and hopes to have enough money in place to allow Miss Huggins to travel to Boston General hospital early in the new year for treatment.

Wedding postponed

Miss Huggins, who teaches at St Ignatius Primary School in Sunbury, discovered during regular screening in late October that her cancer had returned.

"It really humbles you that so many people care so much"
Melissa Huggins

But she said she remains upbeat and grateful for the support she has received.

“It really humbles you that so many people care so much,” she said.

Miss Huggins said she and her fiance had postponed their wedding planned for next year and put the money they would have spent on that towards the treatment.

“I cannot ask anyone else for money if I wasn’t willing to make my own sacrifices,” she said.

Miss Huggins said her campaign was not just about saving her own life but about raising awareness of the need for health officials in the UK to purchase the specialised equipment needed.

“It’s about trying to get a proton machine in this country because it could save so many lives,” she said.

Targeted treatment

The treatment would use highly-targeted protons rather than traditional radiotherapy to kill cancer cells growing in the tumour near the base of her brain stem.

The only machine in Britain that delivers the therapy is a low-energy variety used to treat eye cancers. It is not powerful enough to be used on other cancers.

The proton therapy is deemed more effective because it only targets cancer cells and does not damage healthy tissue surrounding the tumour.

The NHS estimates that creating a fully-equipped proton therapy centre in Britain would cost between £50-100m

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation

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