A FAMILY friend of a critical care nurse undergoing treatment for cancer at the Hallwang Clinic in Germany has challenged himself to run 5k each day this month to raise money for her care.
The family of Rachel Carrack, 35, who now lives in Baildon but is formally of Guiseley, is trying to raise £120,000 to continue her immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
Jordan Gibson, who went to Hawksworth Primary School with Mrs Carrack’s older sisters, Jayne and Louise, said: “I read about Rachel’s treatment and the huge cost and decided to challenge myself to raise money.
“I am doing a dry February and also running 5k each day. It will be the equivalent of three marathons by the end of the month.
“I raised £900 in sponsorship in two days so I am hopeful what I raise will make a difference.”
Mrs Carrack’s sister Louise Bennett said they were grateful to all the help they had received from people and said the treatment she was receiving was showing good results.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Mrs Carrack was diagnosed with cancer in her pancreas and bile ducts shortly after having her second baby, Will.
She was told the cancer was inoperable and was offered palliative care, but her family researched all options and found the German clinic.
The radical treatment, not available on the NHS, consisted of immune-boosting therapy, peptide injections, liver detoxes and vitamin infusions as well as chemotherapy. It worked and a year later the tumour was gone.
It had cost Mrs Carrack’s parents upwards of £100,000 and the family set up charitable trust Love Hope Trust which has paid for six other people to receive treatments.
However, late last year the cancer came back, this time in Mrs Carrack’s lymph nodes, and she has returned to the clinic for treatment.
In October the family began fundraising in earnest to raise £120,000 for further treatment and that total stands at just over £77,300. Her parents put in a further £60,000 - virtually all their savings - and have now just sold their house.
In November, Mrs Carrack went over to the clinic for a month and now goes every three weeks for one week. Each visit costs £30,000.
“To keep costs down we asked if we could buy the chemotherapy drugs over in the UK but the NHS has told us that because the drugs are not licensed for her particular cancer, although they are used here for other types, we cannot buy them. Our only option is to have the treatment in Germany,” Mrs Bennett said.
“Rachel’s been doing really well. When she first went over blood tests showed her tumour markers were measuring 2,000. A recent test showed they had reduced to 200. There has been a huge improvement in the ascites in her stomach. Doctors were draining around three litres of fluid a day from her stomach to start with and that is now down to around a litre-and-a-half every three or so days. It is really encouraging.
“Last week she was well enough to go out with us for a family get-together.
“We are really hopeful with the treatment and will not give up.”
Mr Gibson’s funding page is at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Jordans5KEverydayFebruary2017.
Mrs Carrack’s fundraising page is at gofundme.com/CarrackCancerBattle