The family of a Scottish mother of two with stage four cancer is desperately raising money to send her to America for an experimental treatment that could extend her life.
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Julie Scott, out Glasgow, was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in August 2017 and received physician approval in December 2019.
However, a routine checkup just 10 months later led doctors to discover that the cancer had not only returned, but had spread to her sternum, devastating her husband Chris and their two children, ages 9 and 6.
Julie had received chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, but six weeks ago doctors told the mother that the treatment had stopped working and that the aggressive cancer had also spread to her lungs and liver.
Former Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center employee Julie, set up clinical trials for cancer patients in Scotland, and found a medical trial in the US that she hopes can extend her life.
Family and friends devastated and now they are trying to raise £90,000 to pay Julie to fly to America for treatment.
Her sister, Gemma Strickland, 36, hopes the family will have a miracle.
She said: “Ironically, Julie helps conduct clinical trials, so she knows where to look for treatment, and that’s how she found it in America.
“She worked for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center for 11 years to set up commercial clinical trials and when she got care there herself it was excellent.
“But when she found out that the chemo wasn’t working, she started looking further afield for treatment and basically tried to do everything she could to keep herself alive for her children, her husband and her family and friends.
“She has stage four cancer so there is no treatment here, so without this in America she will most likely die.”
The trial, for which Julie has been approved, is led by Yale University and involves a surgeon removing lymphocytes from cancer-affected organs and multiplying them before sending them back into the body to help fight the tumors.
Despite her cancer diagnosis, Julie has vowed to “live as normal a life as possible” and continues to work as a Clinical Trial Manager within a clinical research organization.
She also keeps going out on 8k runs.
Gemma added: “If her hair hadn’t fallen out, you’d never know she had stage 4 cancer.”
Gemma, an obstetrician for the NHS in Ayrshire, can’t imagine what life will be like without her sister.
She said: “She’s just an absolutely wonderful, bubbly person and losing your sister or your daughter is terrible enough, but knowing you’re leaving behind two young children who will be forever affected by not having their mother, it is just horrible.
“We try to do everything and hopefully this saves her life, but even if it takes her longer until something else comes up, you just have to keep fighting and have hope.
“It has now been six weeks since the treatment was stopped, the scan she just had then was of her chest, sternum, lung and her liver.
“Eight weeks before that, it wasn’t in her liver at all, so within eight weeks it had gone from nothing to 2.4cm, so we’ll see how it goes.
“In our efforts, we want to show that even if doctors say they can’t do anything and they are sometimes too busy to research studies, you have to keep the confidence in yourself and do as much research as possible to extend your life if you can. as much as you can.”
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