‘I don’t want to leave my kids’ – Redditch mum’s race to raise £120k for cancer treatment

The family of a mother of two young children has launched a campaign to raise £120,000 for potentially life-saving cancer treatment for her in Mexico.

Susie Payne, 38, has been battling breast cancer for three years and has now been told by the NHS that it is terminal.

But the family has found a doctor in South America who can give Susie groundbreaking treatment that could save her life – but it costs £120,000. On Friday, almost 40,000 euros had been raised.

READ MORE: Redditch and Worcester’s Hospital Waiting Lists Grow to Over 51,000 Patients

Susie, who lives in Studley with Redditch, found a lump in her breast in 2018, just three weeks after giving birth to her daughter Edith, who is now three years old.

It turned out to be triple-negative breast cancer – a rare and difficult-to-treat breast cancer.

She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and also had a double mastectomy while caring for Edith and her son Albie, now six years old.

Unfortunately, just before Christmas 2020, Susie and her husband Leo received the devastating news that the cancer had returned and was in her lungs. Although it was only a very small tumor, Susie was now classified as having stage 4 cancer.

Susie said, “If you have stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer, there are no positive words to be heard from an oncologist.

“I felt completely written off and the treatment offered was classified as palliative care.

“That was the worst of all oncologist meetings so far – I felt absolutely fine and was told I had about 12 months to live.

“All I could think about was my children – I don’t want to leave them behind, I don’t want their lives to revolve around their mother dying when they were so young.”

Susie Payne (Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

But not to be deterred, the family decided to see what other options were available to Susie.

Leo, 43, who owns and operates Studley Campers in Redditch, said he has “read a lot” to educate himself about cancer and its treatment.

Through this research, they found American physician Jason Williams who founded the Williams Cancer Institute in Mexico and specializes in conducting advanced immunotherapy that works by targeting the cancer cells rather than the entire body.

Susie said, “This is not palliative care, but a treatment with the potential for it to be curative.”

The family managed to raise £50,000 travel costs to Mexico in January by saving, making loans and giving Susie’s mother a new mortgage on her house.

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But the latest scans have shown that one session was not enough and that at least four more are needed.

“Dr Williams is still confident he can get this cancer under control, but more treatment is needed,” Susie said.

“Four more rounds of treatment would cost about £120,000 – it’s such a huge amount that we just don’t have.”

The family now has three conversations with Dr. Williams and Susie’s UK oncologist at Stratford District Hospital to see what treatments may be available privately in the UK.

(Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

She said: “I’m going to do what gives me the best chance of staying with my family. We’re still positive, we believe this can be controlled, but we haven’t succeeded yet.”

Leo said the family was very uncomfortable launching a public appeal for help – but it was their only option now.

“I sold my car this week and donated the money to the GoFundMe,” he said.

“The only other option for us was to sell our house, which I don’t want to do because it will uproot the kids.

“This GoFundMe campaign is hard for me because I’m quite a proud person and I’ve never asked anyone for anything in my life.

“I have always taken care of myself and worked and I am proud to take care of my family.

“But the only way we can raise this kind of money right now is through a public call like this.”

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In addition to the Mexico option, Leo said they had also looked into other private immunotherapy treatments and different types of chemotherapy not available on the NHS.

Susie said, “I should be enjoying the best years of my life with my husband Leo and Albie and Edith, but the whole year was filled with pain and fear.”

Click here to donate to Susie and Leo’s GoFundMe call.

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