A cancer-stricken woman has appealed to the public to help raise £500,000 towards life-saving treatment in America.
Roz Paterson, 52, from Beauly in the Highlands, has been given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer known as Large Diffuse B-Cell Lymphoma (LDBCL).
After four bouts of chemotherapy failed it became clear she was heading towards a ‘desperate situation’ leading her to consider alternative types of treatment including a pioneering new remedy known as Car-T Cell Therapy.
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It is not currently available on the NHS in Scotland and any possible treatment in England would be too late for her, she said.
With treatment available at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, America, Mrs Paterson is now preparing to travel to the United States with her husband Malcolm McDonald, 62, and her two children, daughter Thea, 13 and son David, 10, for what she says is her “last chance.”
She said: “The cancer I have is Large Diffuse B-Cell Lymphoma (LDBCL), it’s a high grade one which will be very aggressive and really hard.
“Normally you would get your chemo, it would attack the cancer and it would cure it but because my cancer is fast moving, really my life expectancy is quite short and the consultant has said it weeks, maybe months, but not a year so time really is of the essence.
“It a big adventure, it’s kind of terrifying and mad but it’s the only way to do it. It’s the only option I have left.
“We have always been together. I was a stay-at-home mum which I am really glad about now because if my time is limited, I’m glad I had that time with them.
“If I come through and I’m cured, what a great time I am going to have. If it’s the end and it fails then we will be together at the end.”
In a desperate attempt to stay alive and watch her two children grow up she launched a crowd-funding appeal on Tuesday to help raise the funds needed to give her this second chance at life.
After just 24 hours the appeal been shared more than 1,400 times on social media, generating more than £12,500.
She added: “It’s quite overwhelming actually. I was very tearful last night because I just didn’t expect the level of response.
“They are lifesavers. I just can’t thank them enough for their generous impulse and their pro-activeness.
“It’s absolutely wonderful, it’s just great. I appreciate it from absolutely everyone as I know for some people £5 is a lot. I just really appreciate that.”
Judith Margaret Whitelaw, 45, Mrs Paterson’s fellow neighbour and friend of five years said they are “desperate to raise the money.”
She said: “This is absolutely our last chance. We are absolutely desperate to raise the money.
“It would be absolutely fantastic if we could do something to help her.
“The community have really come together to help do something. We are a very small community who want to help raise the profile and raise as much as we can of the money.”