Mother, 36, with rare liver cancer who continued to work as a solicitor and homeschool throughout chemo faces race against time to raise £100,000 for treatment that could prolong her life after being given months to live
- Amanda Cox, 36, was diagnosed with rare liver cancer Fibrolamellar carcinoma
- Amanda, from West Midlands, has been told she might not live until Christmas
- She is battling against the clock to raise money for US treatment not on the NHS
- She and husband Matt, 38, set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise £100,000
- Amanda wants to spend more time with young sons Edward, James and George
A mother-of-three battling an ultra-rare form of cancer is desperately trying to raise £100,000 for treatment so she can spend precious time with her young children.
Amanda Cox, 36, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, has been given just months to live and may not see next Christmas without specialist treatment in the US that could prolong her life.
The solicitor is desperately battling against the clock to raise enough money for the treatments so she can spend more precious time with her three sons – Edward, nine, James, seven and George, three.
One of the two cancer drugs that the family are seeking, which is currently unavailable on the NHS, costs £5,000 for just one month of treatment.
While the immunotherapy treatment, which is unavailable on the NHS for Amanda’s rare form of cancer, costs a staggering £100,000 for a one-month course.
Amanda Cox, 36, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, is trying to raise £100,000 for cancer treatment so she can spend more time with husband Matt and sons Edward, James and George
Amanda was diagnosed with extremely rare liver cancer Fibrolamellar carcinoma seven years ago, of which there are only ten known cases in the UK.
Her husband Matt, 38, who served as an RAF logistics officer in Afghanistan, explained: ‘She’s had it seven years and has been so incredibly brave.
‘My wife has always been positive and she’s still got so much to fight for, but there is a reality check that there’s not much more we can do as a family.
On March 5, Amanda and Matt received the heartbreaking news that doctors were unable to help her further and were warned to prepare for the worst.
But their friends and family refused to give up hope and launched a GoFundMe campaign to get Amanda the treatment she urgently needs – and have already raised a staggering £27,000 in just ten days.
The doting mother bravely continues to work and look after her three children while battling cancer, and even homeschooled her sons during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The mother-of-three (pictured with Edward, nine, James, seven, and George, three) has been given months to live and may not see next Christmas without specialist treatment in the USA
Matt explained: ‘She’ll go to her treatment at hospital, have her chemotherapy and sit there for a few hours.
‘And then she’ll come home with a pump in her arm and go off to work. She’ll see her clients come back and put dinner on.
‘That is how it’s been we’ve just got on with it and learnt to adapt and live with cancer.
What is fibrolamellar carcinoma?
Fibrolamellar cancer (also known as FLC) is a rare liver cancer that usually affects adolescents and young adults.
It is thought to occur in one in five million people, and makes up 1-5% of all liver cancers.
It is sometimes referred to as fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma.
However, it differs from the most common form of primary liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, in several ways – most significantly, patients with fibrolamellar do not usually have a history of liver disease.
Many people with early fibrolamellar cancer have no signs or symptoms of the condition.
When symptoms are present, including loss of appetite, abdominal pain and jaundice, they are often non-specific and blamed on other conditions.
‘We try to not let it control our lives because we still have a life to live and have three young children.
‘I am a proud man and a private person, I have tried to deal with this as best as I can and it doesn’t really come natural to me to ask for help.
‘There are still treatments out there we know we can pursue – we just need that little bit of hope.’
Amanda’s tumour was first found when she was having a gall stone removed at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014, when she was 29-years-old.
Two years later, the family received the devastating news that the cancer had returned, and Amanda underwent another operation.
The tumours initially shrunk and she was given the all clear, but in March 2018, she was told that the cancer had grown back and spread to her nearby lymph nodes.
Matt continued: ‘Everybody deserves a life, it’s just frustrating she’s got so much left to live for.
‘I will do anything, I will fight for her for the sake of our beautiful three boys and do everything it takes. I would give her my liver if I could.
‘All our savings and funding is going into this and I will remortgage my house just to give her a chance at life.
‘Nobody should be facing cancer with three young boys.’
Matt explained that the doctors said Amanda may not live to see ‘another Christmas’ but he heartbreakingly said he cannot tell their sons because he doesn’t want to ‘count down’.
He added that the ongoing restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic have been ‘upsetting’ for the family, particularly when Amanda was told ‘on her own’ that there was nothing else the doctors could do to help her.
Matt continued: ‘The doctor’s talk of her not seeing another Christmas but I can’t tell the boys that. We don’t want to count down, we just want to live.
‘She has said to me she wants to prove her value to society and pay her taxes and that she still has a point to live.
Amanda was diagnosed with rare liver cancer Fibrolamellar carcinoma seven years ago, of which there are only ten known cases in the UK (pictured with Edward, James and George)
Her husband Matt, 38, said Amanda (both pictured) may not live to see ‘another Christmas’ but he heartbreakingly said he cannot tell their sons that as he doesn’t want to ‘count down’
‘What’s also upsetting for me is I can’t go with her to the chemotherapy due to Covid and sit by my wife’s side.
‘In March she was sat there and the consultant came up and said this is all we can do, she should not have heard that on her own.’
Matt admitted that Amanda has penned birthday cards for their three children in case the ‘worst does happen’.
He continued: ‘We’ve written birthday cards for all our three children and put them in a box so if the worst does happen, I can give them a card from their mum.
‘Every day is precious, every day she’s here is another positive day.’
The rare liver cancer attacks healthy livers and is more prone in teenagers and people under 40, and Amanda has never smoked or drunk alcohol and even swam for Birmingham county.
Matt added: ‘We have done a lot of research and there seems to be only ten other people in the UK that have it.
‘I think there are only 200 people in the whole of the world.
‘It’s a really rare cancer and this is so disheartening that it affects young healthy livers of young healthy people. Amanda was a fit and healthy woman.
‘We contacted doctors in America and were told that there are treatments available over there such as immunotherapy.
One of the two cancer drugs that the family (above, Matt and Amanda) are raising funds for on GoFundMe costs £5,000 while a one-month course with immunotherapy costs £100,000
‘These drugs are here for lung cancer or breast cancer but have not been tried and tested for Amanda’s cancer.
‘If you’ve only got 10 people in the UK with it how are you going to test it? It’ll take 50 to 100 years.’
Matt explained that they are raising money for the treatment to try and shrink Amanda’s tumour, as there then could be the option for a transplant.
He said: ‘We just need to get the tumours shrunk and reduced and then they may offer us a the option for a transplant.
‘I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who has donated and for the fantastic support we have had to date.
‘The NHS have also been brilliant over the seven years and they have supported us the best they can, I can’t thank them enough.’
Anyone wishing to donate to the family’s campaign can visit uk.gofundme.com/f/Please-help-save-amandas-life.
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