Former MindOut volunteer and fundraiser fights for life

Besi Besemar July 27, 2018

In February this year, while living in Spain with her partner Laura Clarke, Sarah Tebbutt, was diagnosed with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma, a very rare brain tumor.

SINCE her diagnosis Sarah has received one round of chemotherapy and five sessions of radiotherapy in an effort to stop the seizures she was experiencing several times a day.

Unfortunately, after her first round of chemotherapy she developed grade 4 sepsis which left her fighting for her life. Consequently, Sarah’s chemotherapy treatment was halted because the sepsis had created a sizeable open wound in her arm that took several months to heal.

Following her recovery from sepsis Sarah needed reassessment before she could continue with the chemotherapy treatment which involved a full MRI body scan that took place in June. The results were devastating for her and Laura.

The scan showed multiple tumors in Sarah’s left lung with one large tumor located in the left lung. Multiple tumors showed up in each of her kidneys alongside her brain tumor which had increased in size too. Subsequently she was told that although she would receive “aggressive treatment” to combat the spread of her cancer, it was also explained to her that this approach was due to her being 33 years old rather than because it would provide a cure.

This prognosis prompted Sarah’s immediate move back to the UK because of concerns regarding her ability to travel if she was to become too sick. Since being under the care of the NHS Sarah has had her PET and MRI Scans repeated.

At the most recent meeting with the Oncologist Sarah was told that she had developed another tumor on her Pancreas and was terminally ill. As a result no further treatment is available to her.

Following researching a new treatment called IMMUNOTHERAPY, Sarah is appealing this decision.  IMMUNOTHERAPY is a very new treatment for cancer and is extremely expensive. The NHS and the Social Security in Spain will not provide this treatment as it is not currently approved for Sarah’s specific type of cancer. This is because it is a very rare form of cancer and as such the funding for research trials would not be cost-effective.

However, Sarah can receive the treatment if she funds it herself which could possibly provide her with a cure. This is her next step, but she needs to access this treatment immediately before her physical strength declines further.

To have this treatment abroad each injection would cost 3,000 Euros. These injections would be given at three weekly intervals over a period of two years or more, costing in all 104,000 Euros.

Sarah does not want to die. But at this stage IMMUNOTHERAPY is her only option and she can’t do it without your help.

Before moving to live in Spain, Sarah and her partner Laura volunteered here in Brighton with MindOut, the LGBT mental health service as anti-stigma volunteers and fundraisers. They ran a fair few marathons and half marathons for MindOut raising lots of money and have been on the front cover of GScene with their marathon team not just once, but twice.

Sarah is only 33, without treatment she will die – in fact she may not reach the autumn. She is desperate to live and she has so much fight in her. Both Sarah and Laura think they can win this awful battle, but they desperately need your help.

To make a donation and help Sarah in her fight for life, click here: